Since 2006, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been recommended for females aged 11-12 years and through 26 years if not previously vaccinated. In order to determine if HPV vaccination has been successful in reducing HPV infection, epidemiologists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared trends in HPV prevalence by analyzing cervicovaginal specimens from females aged 14-34 years from the prevaccine era (2003–2006) and from 4 years of the vaccine era (2009–2012) according to age group. Prevalence of quadrivalent HPV vaccine (4vHPV) types (HPV-6, -11, -16, and -18) and other HPV type categories were compared.
Within 6 years of HPV vaccine introduction, there was a 64% decrease in 4vHPV type prevalence among females aged 14-19 years and a 34% decrease among those aged 20-24 years. The researchers have already noted a decline in genital warts caused by HPV, and anticipate that the decline in HPV prevalence should lead to reductions in diseases caused by HPV, such as cervical cancer and head and neck cancer.
Markowitz LE, Liu G, Hariri S, et al. Prevalence of HPV after introduction of the vaccination program in the United States [published online ahead of print February 22, 2016]. Pediatrics.