NEW YORK | Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:18pm EDT
Girls between the ages of 11 and 12 should be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) before they become sexually active, according to recommendations released Monday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The recommendations, published in the group’s journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, back existing U.S. government guidelines.
They also call on gynecologists and obstetricians to discuss HPV vaccination with older girls and young women — an age group that they are more likely to treat compared with the 11- to 12-year-old range.
According to ACOG, girls and women between the ages of 13 and 26 who have not yet received the HPV vaccine should get “catch-up” doses — also in line with government recommendations.
There are more than 100 strains of HPV, some of which cause genital and anal warts. In most people, the immune system clears the infection fairly rapidly. However, persistent infection with certain HPV strains can eventually lead to cancer in some cases.
Persistent HPV infection is the primary cause of cervical cancer, and it can also lead to cancers of anus and penis.
Read Full Article…..and comment about the conflict of interest between the CEO of Reuters who sits on the BOD at Merck.