Doctors Now Want More Adults to Get the HPV Vaccine

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Good news if you’re an adult who hasn’t gotten the HPV vaccine yet: A government advisory panel recently voted to recommend the vaccine for men up to age 26 (previously it was recommended for women up to 26, and men up to 21) with a “weak endorsement” for people up to age 45.

The HPV vaccine protects against several types of human papillomavirus, a virus that can cause genital warts and cancers. HPV doesn’t always lead to cancer, but it’s very common, so most of us will be exposed to the virus at some point in our sexual lives. When you get a pap smear, your gyno is checking for early signs of the cervical cancer that HPV can cause. HPV can also cause oral cancers and, less commonly, others like anal and penile cancer.

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The new recommendations come from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Once the CDC officially adopts these recommendations, most insurance plans will have to cover the vaccines as recommended. (Otherwise they run around $200 per dose, with adults requiring three doses.) That means men up to age 26 should have no problem getting the vaccine, and people between age 26 and 45 should be able to get the vaccine after discussing it with their doctor. (The vaccine is only approved for people up to age 45.)

The best age to get the vaccine is still in childhood, well before becoming sexually active, so the HPV vaccine is on the vaccine schedule for children age 11 to 12. Previously, the vaccine was only aimed at younger people because by the time you become sexually active, you’ve already been exposed to the virus, so the thinking was that a vaccine wouldn’t be very helpful. However, there are several types of the virus that can cause cancer, and the latest vaccine protects against nine of them, so even if you’ve been exposed to one or two, you could still gain protection against the others.

Source:-vitals.lifehacker

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