Traveller vaccination human papillomavirus
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Protection against human papillomavirus is not specific to the needs of most travellers. In many countries vaccine against human papillomavirus is routinely administered in childhood. Before travelling, missing vaccinations in young girls should be offered according to national recommendations.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Nature of the disease
HPV mostly causes transient benign mucosal infection but it can develop to anogenital precancerous conditions and cancers. Some genotypes of HPV may cause anogenital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.
HPV is prevalent globally. The incidence of cervical cancer is highest in Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, and southern Asia.
Risk for travellers
Transmission of HPV occurs most commonly through sexual activity.
Two vaccines against HPV infection are available.
- Bivalent (2 genotypes); 2 doses protect against genital cancer.
- Tetravalent (4 genotypes); 3 doses protect against genital cancers and warts.
The vaccines are intended primarily for girls 9-14 years of age.