A vaccination which immunises people to the effects of the human papilloma virus (HPV) has brought about a dramatic reduction in the prevalence of genital warts.
Professor Christopher Fairley, director of the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre at the University of Melbourne, told a BMJ podcast that since the vaccine was introduced in Australia in 2007, the sexually transmitted infection in females under the age of 21 has decreased from 21 per cent to two per cent.
In addition to virtually eradicating genital warts, the vaccine has relieved pressures on community health services, he added.
Around 20 per cent of patients at clinics no longer need to go, so doctors can devote more resources to patients suffering with higher-risk sexual health problems, Professor Fairley added.
The Health Protection Agency states that there are more than 100 different strains of HPV that can have adverse effects on many regions of the body, but the majority of genital warts are caused by types six and 11.