Gardasil is a prophylactic human papiloma virus (HPV) vaccine that it is designed to prevent HPV infections. It is recommended that girls receive the vaccine prior to becoming sexually active. The vaccine which contain virus-like particles, believed to be unable to reproduce in the human body, was tested in thousands of females (ages 9 to 26, only. Since the Gardasil vaccine has been administered for only a few years, it is unknown if it provides lifelong immunity to recipients.
Since Gardasil will not block infection with all of the HPV types that can cause cervical cancer, the vaccine should not be considered a substitute for routine. Gardasil has been shown to be only partially effective (approximately 38%) in preventing cervical cancer caused by ten other high-risk HPV types not formulated in the vaccine.
Gardasil is effective in males providing protection against genital warts, anal cancer and possibly penile cancer. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are particularly at risk for conditions associated with HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18; diseases and cancers that have a higher incidence among MSM include anal intraepithelial neoplasias, anal cancers, and genital warts. Type 16 is also associated with oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma, a form of throat cancer. A 2005 study in San Francisco found that 95% of HIV-infected gay men also had anal HPV infection, of which 50% had precancerous HPV-caused penile and anal cancers. .HPV vaccination of young men is much less cost-effective than for young women.
Objections from doctors and parents groups on vaccine protecting against a sexually transmitted disease halted the placement of Gardisil on the mandatory childhood vaccines in the US.
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