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Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2013

HPV prevalence in female teens drop 56% since HPV vaccine introduced

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden opened up his statements during a CDC telebriefing today (audio) with positive news saying, “Today we have really good news.  The types of HPV, human papillomavirus, that commonly cause cervical cancer in women has dropped by about half in girls aged 14 to 19 since 2006 when we began routinely vaccinating against HPV.  These are striking results.”

Director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden Image/CDC

Director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden
Image/CDC

Frieden was referring to a study, published in the June issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases , which revealed that since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, vaccine-type HPV prevalence decreased 56 percent among female teenagers 14-19 years of age.

Frieden goes on to say, “And I think they should be a wake-up call that we need to increase vaccination rates because we can protect the next generation of adolescents and girls against cancer caused by HPV.  The bottom line is this — it’s possible to protect the generations from cancer, and we’ve got to do it.”

The study by Dr. Lauri Markowitz and colleagues at the CDC used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to compare prevalence—or proportion of girls and women aged 14-59 years with certain types of HPV—before the start of the HPV vaccination program (2003-2006) with the prevalence after vaccine introduction (2007-2010).

Frieden notes, “The bottom line is that vaccine-type HPV decreased by 56 percent from 11.5 percent to 5.1 percent.  Other age groups didn’t show significantly significant differences over time.  And this — the research also showed that vaccine effectiveness for preventing infection was estimated at 82 percent.”

“The decline in vaccine type prevalence is higher than expected and could be due to factors such as to herd immunity, high effectiveness with less than a complete three-dose series and/or changes in sexual behavior we could not measure,” said Dr. Markowitz. “This decline is encouraging, given the substantial health and economic burden of HPV-associated disease.”

Young girl getting vaccinated Image/James Gathany

Young girl getting vaccinated
Image/James Gathany

About 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV. Each year, about 14 million people become newly infected.

Frieden says, “Unfortunately, only one third of 13 to 17-year-old girls in the U.S. has gotten the recommended dose series of HPV vaccine.”

He then compares us to Rwanda–“Countries including Rwanda have vaccinated a higher percentage of females in the target population than we have in the U.S.  This is simply unacceptable.  Our low vaccination rates represent 50,000 preventable tragedies.  50,000 girls alive today will develop cervical cancer that would have been prevented if we had reached our goal of 87 percent vaccination rates.  In fact, for every single year we delay in reaching that rate, another 4,400 women will develop cervical cancer despite good screening. ”

According to CDC, each year in the United States, about 19,000 cancers caused by HPV occur in women, and cervical cancer is the most common.  About 8,000 cancers caused by HPV occur each year in men in the United States, and oropharyngeal (throat) cancers are the most common.

Currently, the recommendation is that females should be vaccinated at age 11 or 12 and through age 26 with either the quadrivalent or the bivalent vaccine- and males at age 11 or 12 and through 21 with the quadrivalent vaccine.  The quadrivalent vaccine is the only vaccine licensed for use in males in this country.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    THE OTHER DAY I READ AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE INTERSECTIONS OF Human Papillomavirus, ORAL SEX AND ORAL CANCER.

    WHEN I WAS A CHILD, MY PARENTS TALKED ABOUT THEIR RELATIVES/FRIENDS IN RURAL NORTHERN-MISSISSIPPI WHO “got bad blood” [the Negro name for sexually-transmitted disease], WENT TO ANOTHER MISSISSIPPI TOWN TO GET IT “CLEANED-UP” AND THEN, RETURNED TO THEIR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND RESUMED HAVING SEX WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS, THEY WANTED. THAT WAS THE 1950s. NOW, WE HERE ABOUT HIGH VOLUME OF HIV/AIDS CASES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA.

    MY POINT IS, SEXUAL URGES ARE NATURAL HUMAN-URGES. YES – PEOPLE MAY STOP DRINKING TO PREVENT LIVER DISEASE AND THEY MAY STOP SMOKING TO PREVENT LUNG CANCER; BUT, SEX [ANY way you like it], WILL NEVER RUN FROM DISEASE. SEX EDUCATION – IN REFERENCE TO HEALTH CONCERNS – IS DESIRED BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE MAKING MONEY BY CAPITALIZING ON THE FEARS OF THOSE WHO “SAY” SEX IS “SMALL POTATOES” IN COMPARISON WITH THE OTHER “MORE IMPORTANT” ISSUES IN LIFE.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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