HPV Vaccination for Boys/Men

HPV vaccination has been very successful in reducing the incidence of cervical cancer. The vaccine reduces the risk of cervical cancer by about 90% in women.  It was for that indication that the FDA approved the HPV vaccine.

There is data to support the use of using the HPV vaccine in boys.  That includes the following:

  1. Oral/throat cancers. These cancers can be caused by HPV.  Actor Michael Douglas developed throat cancer that was related to HPV.  Males do appear at significantly higher risk than females for oral/throat HPV cancers.  HPV vaccination could prevent those cancers.

  2. HPV vaccination of males can prevent secondary HPV infections in females. A female could be a virgin and marry a male who has been exposed to HPV. She would then be exposed to HPV and be at increased risk of cervical cancer. Vaccinating boys would reduce the risk of females being exposed to cervical cancer. 

  3. Penile cancers are rare. HPV can cause those cancers.  Since it is a rare cancer in the United States, it does not receive much publicity, but the incidence would be decreased with HPV vaccination of boys.

  4. In October 2018, the FDA expanded the HPV vaccines for both women and men up to 45 years old.