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Cervical cancer vaccine a huge success
Australia's vaccine program is working

Australia's cervical cancer vaccine program is slashing the incidence of genital warts and could eventually eradicate the condition among the nation's youth, scientists say.

Sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPV), which cause genital warts, are responsible for almost all cervical cancer cases.

A national vaccination program launched in 2007 for high school aged girls has had great success, according to research presented at an international sexual health conference in Melbourne this week.

There has been a 93 per cent decline in genital warts in women under 21 and a 73 per cent decline in women aged 21 to 30 since the national vaccination program was introduced, a study shows.

The advances have led scientists to predict that genital warts could soon be eradicated among Australia's youth and decrease HPV-related cancer.

The vaccine, pioneered by Australian scientist Professor Ian Frazer, protects against four strains of HPV, including two linked to 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases.

The vaccination program will be rolled out to high school boys next year.

Convenor of the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections World Congress, Professor Christopher Fairley, said the success of Australia's national HPV vaccine was a source of international envy.