The association between human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in women is well established.
Furthermore, vaccinating girls has had a positive impact on the incidence of cervical cancer in many countries in which the practice was adopted.
Men benefit indirectly from vaccinating girls in that their risk of contracting HPV is reduced; however, this does not protect men from cancers associated with the virus.
The HPV vaccine has been found effective in boys, but universal vaccination of boys is practiced in only a few countries (Australia, Austria, two Canadian provinces, and the United States).
Dutch researchers sought to estimate the benefit to men if boys were vaccinated against HPV, as well.
Their findings show that benefits from vaccinating boys would not be as significant as they are in girls. Therefore, the researchers suggest that programs for vaccinating girls should continue but including boys may be warranted.
Men benefit indirectly from vaccinating girls against human papillomavirus (HPV), but remain at risk of cancers associated with the virus, finds a study from The Netherlands published in The BMJ this week.