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Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination: a call for action in Italy
  1. Giorgio Bogani1,
  2. Alessandro Ghelardi2,
  3. Francesco Sopracordevole3,
  4. Marco Annoni4,5,
  5. Andrea Ciavattini6,
  6. Luca Giannella6,
  7. Rosa De Vincenzo7,
  8. Paolo Cattani8,
  9. Maggiorino Barbero9,
  10. Paolo Vercellini10,
  11. Francesco Raspagliesi11,
  12. Paolo Bonanni12 and
  13. Giovanni Scambia13
  1. 1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Italy
  2. 2Ginecologia, Ospedale Apuane, Massa, Italy
  3. 3Gynecological Oncology Unit, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO), IRCCS, Aviano, Italy
  4. 4National Research Council of Italy, Roma, Italy
  5. 5Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, Milano, Italy
  6. 6Woman’s Health Sciences Department, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy
  7. 7Gynecologic Oncology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Roma, Italy
  8. 8Italian Society of Colposcopy and Cervico-Vaginal Pathology, Roma, Italy
  9. 9Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Azienda Sanitaria Locale di Asti, Asti, Italy
  10. 10Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Policlinico of Milan Mangiagalli Center, Milano, Italy
  11. 11Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Italy
  12. 12Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy
  13. 13Dipartimento Scienze della Salute della Donna e del Bambino, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Roma, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Giorgio Bogani, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Italy; giorgiobogani{at}


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. The implementation of primary prevention aims to reduce the burden of HPV infection and HPV-related disease. However, HPV-related diseases are still a concern, even in high-income countries. Approximately 570 000 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed in Italy every year. Prophylactic HPV vaccines have been developed to minimize the spread of HPV. Growing evidence supports the administration of HPV vaccines (even just one dose) in reducing the prevalence of HPV infection and HPV-related disease including cancers. HPV vaccines are characterized by a high level of efficacy (>95%) in women who are naïve to HPV; however, they do not increase clearance in patients with ongoing HPV infection. With more than 200 million doses administered to date, HPV vaccines are considered to be safe and effective at preventing HPV-related infections and cancers. In this review we aim to review the current evidence regarding HPV vaccination and to describe trends in HPV vaccination coverage in Italy. In Italy, vaccination against HPV has been included in the National Immunization Plan (NIP) since 2007–2008. Using data abstracted from the Italian Ministry of Health, we analyzed changes in HPV vaccination coverage. We observed that HPV vaccines are underutilized and coverage rates are decreasing. Looking at the target population (females and males aged 11–12 years) in Italy, a decrease in coverage rates was observed. A call for action, improved HPV awareness, and education are the key elements to enhance the widespread adoption of HPV vaccination.

  • Cervical Cancer

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  • Contributors Conceptualization: GB. Methodology: all authors. Data extraction: all authors. Writing – original draft: all authors. Writing – review & editing: all authors. Project administration: GB. Supervision: GS, FR.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.