Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a necessary, though not sufficient, cause of cervical cancer. Two vaccines have been developed that prevent two HPV types associated with 70% of cervical cancers. One of the vaccines (a quadrivalent vaccine) also prevents two HPV types associated with 90% of genital warts. Both HPV vaccines have shown very good efficacy and safety. This review summarizes the guidelines for use of the quadrivalent vaccine published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, presents data on vaccine efficacy and safety, and gives an overview of the findings of cost-effectiveness studies. In addition, we summarize the research on the attitudes of parents and health care providers toward HPV vaccine and critically evaluate controversial and challenging issues surrounding HPV vaccination, including concerns about sexual disinhibition and potential obstacles to vaccine distribution and uptake.
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