Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Program Presents Excellent Results

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 09 September, 2014

A study at the University of Sydney has found that the number of cases of young women affected by genital warts, or human papillomavirus, has dropped by 61% since the national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program was introduced in 2007.
Over 12 years commencing in 2000, the study took into account over a million patient encounters and overall showed drastic reductions in the management rate of genital warts in women aged 15-27 years.
University of Sydney's Lead author of the study Christopher Harrison said that the results mean the vaccine program has been successful.
Specifically, genital wart presentation to Australian doctors dropped from a pre-program figure of 4.33 per 1,000 encounters to 1.67 per 1,000.
Mr Harrison said the results were excellent.
"For all other age-sex groups (who were not covered by the program) there was no significant change in the management rate of genital warts between the pre-program and post-program periods ... There was also no significant decrease in other sexually transmitted infections over this period, which means that the decrease in genital warts was likely due to the vaccination program, not a change in the women's behaviour," he said.
"The program has proved to be a great success and of huge benefit to the sexual health of Australia, and has clearly proven to be very worthwhile."
The findings are published in PLOS One journal.

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