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Why should teenage boys get the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil to protect males against most genital warts, anal cancers and cancers of the mouth and throat. Vaccination should be given before an infection occurs, ideally, before a boy becomes sexually active. The vaccine is given in three doses, and it is important to get all three doses for the best protection. The FDA recommends vaccination for 11- and 12-year-old boys and males ages 13 through 26 who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger.
 
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is most commonly passed by sexual contact. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines were originally intended for adolescent girls to prevent cervical cancer. However, there is an increasing awareness of other HPV-associated cancers in both men and women. Many public health experts now recommend that these vaccines also be administered to adolescent boys.
Dianne Parker
Dianne Parker on behalf of MDLIVE
Pediatrics
HPV vaccine should be received by both teenage girls and boys. Boys can pick up the virus during intercouse or oral sex and pass it on to others. The risk of cancer is not limited to girls because in addition to cervical cancer, HPV has also been linked to oral cancers.
 Dr. Diane Harper
Health Education

There is no evidence that teenage boys must get Gardasil.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.