Health experts urge men to get HPV vaccinations in order to protect themselves from cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an infection that spreads through skin-to-skin contact. 40 out of the 100 varieties are passed through sexual contact, which can affect the mouth, throat and genitals.
The vaccine helps protect women and girls from vaginal, cervical and vulvar cancer. However, it can also offer men protection against genital warts, penis and anal cancer caused by the virus.
"Yes, men should be vaccinated for HPV. The vaccine was approved in 2009 and men between the age group of 9-26 can get vaccinated for prevention of genital warts and anal cancer," Dr Neema Sharma, Director, obstetrics and gynaecology at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, told a news portal.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11 and 12-year-old boys should get HPV vaccinations till they are 21. "In US and Europe, more boys and young adults are being vaccinated against HPV. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil 9 -- the HPV vaccine -- in 2009-2010 for vaccinating boys and men aged nine to 26 years," Sudarsan De, Director, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, told a news portal.
Health officials urge men and women to get vaccinated before they become sexually active. "HPV certainly plays a role in the development of cervical cancer. In some of the cases, environment and lifestyle may have a major role in developing the cancer. Risk factors include multiple sexual partners, smoking, weak immune system with sexually-transmitted infection," said Sharma.