In 2006, the US began to recommend immunization against HPV for young girls and eventually for boys. Several strains of the human papillomavirus have been linked to cervical cancer and since HPV is spread during sexual intercourse, vaccination of young girls and boys before they become sexually active was thought of as a way to prevent the spread of HPV.

A study published in Pediatrics, headed by Dr. Lauri Markowitz and colleagues, shows how much impact this measure has had on HPV infection among teens. The report shows the rate of HPV infection in teens ages 14 to 19 has dropped by 64% six years after the shot was recommended, and by 34% among people ages 20 to 24.

The surprising aspect about the decline, according to Dr. Lauri Markowitz, is the low rates of immunization with the HPV vaccine since its release. Despite recommendation only 38% of girls received all three doses of the vaccine in 2013 and 57% received at least one dose.

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