Debate: Towards the eradication of HPV infection through universal specific vaccination

BMC Public Health
(Accessed 13 July 2013)

Towards the eradication of HPV infection through universal specific vaccination
Piergiorgio Crosignani, Antonella De Stefani, Gaetano Maria Fara, Andrea M Isidori, Andrea Lenzi, Carlo Antonio Liverani, Alberto Lombardi, Francesco Saverio Mennini, Giorgio Palu¿, Sergio Pecorelli, Andrea P Peracino, Carlo Signorelli and Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti

Abstract (provisional)
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is generally recognized to be the direct cause of cervical cancer. The development of effective anti-HPV vaccines, included in the portfolio of recommended vaccinations for any given community, led to the consolidation in many countries of immunization programs to prevent HPV-related cervical cancers. In recent years, increasing evidence in epidemiology and molecular biology have supported the oncogenic role of HPV in the development of other neoplasm including condylomas and penile, anal, vulvar, vaginal, and oro-pharyngeal cancers. Men play a key role in the paradigm of HPV infection: both as patients and as part of the mechanisms of transmission. Data show they are affected almost as often as women. Moreover, no screening procedures for HPV-related disease prevention are applied in men, who fail to undergo routine medical testing by any medical specialist at all. They also do not benefit from government prevention strategies.

A panel of experts convened to focus on scientific, medical, and economic studies, and on the achievements from health organizations’ intervention programs on the matter. One of the goals was to discuss on the critical issues emerging from the ongoing global implementation of HPV vaccination. A second goal was to identify contributions which could overcome the barriers that impede or delay effective vaccination programs whose purpose is to eradicate the HPV infection both in women and men.

The reviewed studies on the natural history of HPV infection and related diseases in women and men, the increasing experience of HPV vaccination in women, the analysis of clinical effectiveness vs economic efficacy of HPV vaccination, are even more supportive of the economic sustainability of vaccination programs both in women and men. Those achievements address increasing and needed attention to the issue of social equity in healthcare for both genders.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.