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FDA Approves a New Vaccine (Gardasil) to Prevent Genital Warts and Certain Cancers

FDA Approves a New Vaccine (Gardasil) to Prevent Genital Warts and Certain Cancers

Posted on 04. Feb, 2010 by in Vaccines

The FDA recently approved Gardasil, a vaccine to prevent Human Papillomavirus for boys and young men ages 9 to 26 years old.  Since this contagious virus causes Genital Warts, and in some cases cancer, the approval marks a significant step forward in preventing illness.

 In 2006 the FDA approved Gardasil for girls and young women age 9 to 26. The most recent approval for males was the next logical step for treatment of these ubiquitous warts.

 Gardasil prevents the spread of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which is the root cause of Genital Warts and is known as a cause for cervical and vulvar cancers in women.  Males and females can carry HPV often without knowledge and unknowingly infect their sexual partners.

 The vaccine is only effective before a person has contact with someone carrying HPV. This is why, like many vaccines that fight illness for children, Gardasil must be administered while they are young and have not yet been exposed to the disease.

 Once a person is older and sexually active it may be too late for the vaccine to work, as it is not a cure for those already infected. In fact there is no cure for the virus, which can have lifelong and even life-threatening consequences. 

 Genital warts are spread through sexual skin-to-skin contact—sexual intercourse is not necessary– and this marks one of the most significant steps in the eradicating the spread of this virus.

 The Gardasil vaccine treats two types of genital warts– types 6 and type 18– which cause an estimated 70% of cervical cancer and up to 50% of vulvar cancer in women. The vaccine also protects against two other types of genital warts, specifically type 6 and type 11. Combined, these four types of warts account for approximately 90% of all genital warts, making the vaccine a significant step in protecting their spread.

 There are nearly 17,000 new cases of genital warts diagnosed each day in the United States. While many of these warts clear on there own a person still carries the contagious virus and some patients battle with lifelong repeat outbreaks. Currently it’s estimated that one million people in the U.S will develop genital warts.

 Genital warts can cause quite a bit of discomfort and like many venereal diseases can have a psychological and emotional impact as well.  And since the virus is contagious there is a lifelong risk of infecting any sexual partner.

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2 Responses to “FDA Approves a New Vaccine (Gardasil) to Prevent Genital Warts and Certain Cancers”

  1. Dr. Gidon

    20. Sep, 2010

    Excellent article. It is as important as ever to practice safe sex to avoid other sexally transmitted diseases.

  2. Wow..Gardasil ..help you be safe…

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