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Boys join national HPV vaccination program

Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has launched the world’s first National Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Immunisation program for boys.

From February 2013, males aged 12-13 years will receive the HPV vaccine at school on an ongoing basis. Males aged 14-15 years will also receive the vaccine as part of a catch-up program until the end of the 2014 school year.

In July 2012 the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing announced $21 million in funding over four years to extend the HPV immunisation program to boys from 2013.

Females ages 12-13 years will continue to receive the vaccine at school.

Gardasil, the vaccine used in the national program, protects against four types of HPV that are pre-cursers to some cancers, in particular cervical cancer, as well as genital warts in men and women.

"The HPV vaccine is the best protection against the HPV virus; a virus that infects four out of five sexually active people at some point in their lives and is linked to cancer and other disease," Ms Plibersek said.

Since the HPV vaccination program started in 2007 there has been a reduction in HPV-related infections in young women and a reduced incidence of genital warts in males and females. There has also been a reduction in pre-cancerous lesions in young women.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said the addition of the HPV vaccine offered specific benefits for men.

"The papillomavirus is responsible for some cancers inside the mouth and throat along with cancers of the genital tract," Professor Olver said. "The vaccine also protect against genital warts, which is a very common sexually transmitted infection."

For more information on HPV, the vaccine and the national program visit

This page was last updated on: Friday, February 15, 2013