HPV vaccine prevents cancer in men
The study was conducted by the University of California, in the United States, with 602 healthy homosexual men aged 16 to 26 years. In a random choice, half of the participants received vaccine injections, while the other half received placebo. The vaccine was applied tetravalent, which fights four types of HPV and is the only vaccine in the market against the virus that can be applied to men.
Follow-up after vaccination occurred between 2006 and 2008, and doses were applied in of a space of one month. Among men who were never exposed to HPV, the vaccine showed a rate of 75% fewer infections and precancerous anal lesions. Among those who had already been exposed to one or more types of virus that the vaccine seeks to prevent, the rate was 54% less than those who did not take the vaccine.
The study seeks to prove, in addition to the efficacy of the HPV vaccine, that people who have already started their sexual lives may also benefit from immunization.
HPV vaccine is one of the main weapons to combat the virus
HPV - human papillomavirus -, brings alarming data: according to the Ministry of Health, 137 thousand new cases are registered per year in Brazil. This virus is responsible for 90% of cases of cervical cancer, as well as being a protagonist in cases of penile cancer. It is the main culprit for numerous diseases of the genital region - comprising the cervix, vagina, vulva and anus in women and, in men, penises and anus.
Like warts in the genital region and mouth, cancers caused by Human papillomavirus are recurrent: in the cervix, vulva, penis and skin. According to gynecologist Claudio Emilio Bonduki of Unifesp, HPV can still lead to vulvar and skin cancer and cause lesions in the oral, tongue, pharynx and anus regions due to contact in oral or anal sex. HPV already existed for the female audience. But men also play an important role as vectors of HPV, that is, they carry it as well as women, as explained by gynecologist Maricy Tacla of the Hospital das Clínicas. "As long as they are not vaccinated, just like the entire population, people will continue to be infected," he warned. Therefore, since the end of May 2011, they can also be immunized against HPV.
Types of vaccine
There are two types of HPV vaccine in Brazil: the bivalent and the quadrivalent. Both protect against a maximum of four types of virus, out of more than 100.
The bivalent protects only against types 16 and 18, which account for about 70% of cases of cervical cancer, vagina, vulva, anus and penis. The quadrivalent, which has recently been released to the male public, protects against these antigens and also against types 6 and 11, the main agents of genital warts and condylomata, which are the genital warts produced by the virus. The main focus of the vaccine is on women aged 9 to 26 years, in the case of the quadrivalent, and 10 to 25, on the bivalent - especially for those who have not yet started their sex life. According to Maricy Tacla, this is because, theoretically, the woman has not yet had contact with the virus, which increases the effectiveness of the application. For men, it is worth the same age group, remembering that they can take only the quadrivalente.
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