HPV, or human papillomavirus, can lead to male cancers and genital warts, and can also cause cervical cancers in the female sexual partners of these men.
According to researchers from Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, the HPV vaccine, which is usually recommended for girls under 26 years of age, should be suggested for boys as well.
The vaccine called Gardasil was first approved in 2006 and has been available for men since 2009, but hasn’t been heavily promoted for them. Getting vaccinated against HPV could help prevent genital wars, as well as penile and anal cancers.
There are more than 100 varieties of HPV, and you don’t have to have sexual contact to contract the virus. Exposure to bodily fluids is just as effective in spreading it.
“From a public health perspective, the important implication is to show that HPV infection is very common–even in patients with no clinical symptoms. It supports the argument that we should consider vaccinating both boys and girls to prevent future health problems,” said Dr. Tomas Griebling, vice chair of the urology department at the University of Kansas.