The federal government has expanded the use of a vaccine that protects against the sexually transmitted disease HPV.
The condition received much media attention in 2013 after actor Michael Douglas blamed his diagnosis of throat cancer on HPV and oral sex.
She added that many women with the diagnosis have hysterectomies. The virus has several strains, it can be sexually transmitted, and the majority of the adults encounter a minimum of one strain in their lives at some point. "It doesn't sound like there's medical evidence for the vaccine's effectiveness in an older population, but I think a person's risk factors for HPV are as important as age".
"Even if the vaccine is not provided before sexual debut, there can be strong benefit if given at any time to prevent HPV-associated disease and also HIV", he said.
Every year, about 14 million Americans contract HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to Merck (MSD), the manufacturer of Gardasil 9, the "vaccine is indicated in the United States in females 9 through  years of age for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancers caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58; precancerous or dysplastic lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58; and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11". This new recommendation is sure to generate discussion, but there's still confusion about what the vaccine does and why it's recommended. However, Dr. Michael Krychman, MD, OB/GYN, sexual medicine gynecologist and the executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and co-author of The Sexual Spark: 20 Essential Exercises to Reignite the Passion, tells Bustle that most cases of HPV are cleared from the body before people get warts - also known as papillomas - or complications from HPV.
The latest version of Gardasil protects against nine strains of HPV, four more than the original.
The U.S. agency, which made the announcement Friday, had approved the use of Gardasil 9 for use in men and women 9 through 26 in 2014.
The FDA's approval of Gardasil 9 for people up to 45 years of age is based on these results and new data on long term follow-up from this study.
Merck said the list price for Gardasil 9 is $205 per dose. "So definitely it's worthwhile to get vaccinated if you think you're at risk and you're concerned about developing cancer from HPV", Rohr-Allegrini said. Only about 60% of teens in the USA have initiated the HPV vaccine "so it's imperative that our physicians are adequately counseling patients on the manifestations of HPV", said Laitman.