HPV Vaccine Gardasil May Help Boys, Men

Study: Gardasil May Reduce Risk of Genital Warts in Men

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on November 13, 2008

Nov. 13, 2008 -- Gardasil, a vaccine against four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), may help prevent genital warts in boys and men.

That's according to a new study presented this week in Nice, France, at the annual meeting of the European Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia (EUROGIN).

Gardasil targets four HPV strains that can lead to cervical cancer. The CDC recommends Gardasil for all girls aged 11-12, and the vaccine is approved for girls and women aged 9-26.

But HPV isn't just a problem for women. In men, HPV can lead to genital warts, anal cancer, and penile cancer.

The new study included 4,065 men aged 16-26. They got three shots of Gardasil or a placebo over six months.

Participants who got the Gardasil shots were 90% less likely to develop genital warts related to the four HPV strains that Gardasil targets.

No serious side effects were linked to Gardasil, though participants who got Gardasil reported "slightly more" injection site reactions than participants in the placebo group, according to the researchers, who included Joel Palefsky, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco.

Merck, the drug company that makes Gardasil, funded the study.

The FDA hasn't approved Gardasil for use in boys or men. Merck plans to file an application this year asking the FDA to approve Gardasil for boys and men aged 9 to 26 to prevent genital warts.