Background From mid-2007 Australia funded a universal HPV vaccination programme for young females, which achieved high coverage rates. In 2013, Australia has become the first country to extend the HPV vaccination programme to boys aged 12–13 years. A catch-up programme includes boys aged 14–15. The aim of this study was to look at the current and expected impact of the vaccination programme on genital warts in men.
Methods Eight Australian sexual health services provided data on all new patients. We compared trends in proportion of patients diagnosed with genital warts in the pre-vaccination (2004 to mid-2007) and vaccination (mid-2007 to 2011) periods. Furthermore, we used a mathematical model of HPV transmission to predict the impact of male vaccination on the incidence of genital warts.
Results In the pre-vaccination period, there was no change in proportion of men diagnosed with genital warts. In the vaccination period, there were significant declines in proportions of < 21 (81.8%, compared to 92.6% decline in women) and 21–30 year old (51.1%, compared to 72.6% in women) heterosexual men diagnosed with genital warts; from 12.1% in 2007 to 2.2% in 2011 and from 18.2% in 2007 to 8.9% in 2011 respectively. There was no significant decline in diagnosis in men > 30 years of age, or in homosexual or bisexual men. Results of the model are in-line with this decline in men. With the introduction of male vaccination programme, the model predicts a much lower incidence, approaching elimination, in coming decades.
Conclusion Although there has been a decline in the proportion of young heterosexual men diagnosed with genital warts suggesting herd immunity, the decline is slower than that of young females and no decline is observed in homosexual/bisexual men. The male vaccination programme will lead to near elimination of genital warts in both females and males in Australia.
- Genital Warts
- Vaccination Program
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