A federal advisory committee has recommended boys get vaccinated against HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease. The recommendations submitted to the CDC call for routine vaccination of boys to begin at ages eleven and twelve, and go up to age twenty-one.
The vaccine is most effective if given before one is exposed to the virus. Researchers say the vaccine can prevent mouth, neck, and anal cancer in men, and prevent cervical cancer in women by stopping the spread of the virus to sexual partners. With the recommendations, insurance companies will likely pay for the vaccine, which costs hundreds of dollars.
HPV causes roughly fifteen thousand cancers in women each year, and seven thousand cancers in men. The vaccine is already recommended for teenage girls, but fewer than a third have gotten all three shots.
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