Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) are not only meant for women, but can also help prevent diseases in men, according to vaccinologist Dirga Sakti Rambe.

"The awareness is that HPV vaccine is not only for women, but also for men because many diseases are associated with the HPV virus," he said at the "Vaccinate to Elevate: Strengthening Our Team, Safeguarding Our Future" event here on Wednesday.

According to him, the virus, which can increase the risk of cervical cancer, can also contribute to genital warts, throat cancer, penile cancer, anal cancer, vulva cancer, and vaginal cancer.

He informed that the vaccine is recommended for men aged up to 26 years, meanwhile, women can take the shot at an early age and until they turn 45.

HPV can increase the risk of cervical cancer, he noted.

"The number of (deaths due to cervical cancer) has not changed since I was in medical school. Every day, 50 women die from cervical cancer," he added.

According to him, Indonesia is the country with the highest incidence of cervical cancer in Southeast Asia, with 90 cases detected every day.

He said that Indonesians need to be grateful because the government has intensified the free HPV vaccine program for adolescents.

Rambe informed that to prevent cervical cancer, it is necessary to avoid risky sexual activity, maintain personal hygiene, get vaccinated, and undergo early screening.

Early screening includes pap smears and the IVA test, he expounded.
He further said that vaccination can prevent many deadly diseases, such as cervical cancer, influenza, dengue fever, COVID-19, and hepatitis, whose incidence is high in Indonesia.

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Translator: Mecca P, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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