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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2006, Article ID 83084, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Reducing the Health Burden of HPV Infection Through Vaccination

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, SC, USA

Received 18 August 2005; Accepted 20 September 2005

Copyright © 2006 David Soper. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection and the etiologic cause of genital warts and cervical cancer, is highly prevalent in sexually active men and women. Although cervical screening procedures have significantly reduced the disease burden associated with HPV infection, they are expensive and abnormal results cause significant emotional distress. Therefore, prevention may be an effective strategy for reducing the economic, psychosocial, and disease burden of HPV infection. Multivalent vaccines are now in clinical development. A bivalent vaccine that protects against HPV 16 and 18, and a quadrivalent vaccine which protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, have been shown to significantly reduce the occurrence of incident and persistent HPV infections in phase 2 clinical trials; phase 3 trials are currently underway. HPV vaccines will be most effective when administered prior to initiation of sexual activity, and vaccination campaigns should aggressively target preadolescent and adolescent populations.