In Milan Vaccines preventing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection – English info
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. HPV infects nearly all sexually active men and women at some point in their lives. Not all types of HPV are equally dangerous. In several cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause health problems, but in a high percentage of cases infection is persistent.
The persistence of infection, due to high-risk virus types (in 70% of cases they are represented by HPV 16 and 18), is the main cause of cervical and other cancer including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and oropharynx in both females and males. At present, a screening program that allows early diagnosis and preven- tion is available only for cancers of the uterine cervix.
Vaccines that can prevent HPV infection and the evolution to pre-cancer lesions have been developed. These vaccines, for the first time in oncology, give the opportunity of a real primary prevention in healthy individuals.
The beneficial effects of the vaccine is more apparent for preteens and they should all get vaccinated. However, vaccination is also recommended for sexually active young males and females, if they were not vaccinated when they were younger.
Anti-HPV vaccination provides safe, effective, and lasting protection against HPV infection. Data so far available indicate both vaccines can guarantee more than 10 years protection.
Some Italian Regions have already started a “gender neutral” vaccination campaign. In 2017 the new NHS plan extended free vaccine to 12 years old boys.