While the majority of studies regarding the health benefits from human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination have focused on cervical neoplasia and cancer, few have investigated how the epidemiology of vaginal and vulvar disease may be affected. To better understand how occurrence rates for vaginal and vulvar neoplasias and carcinomas may change in the future, we must have an understanding of the overall disease prevalence within a given population, the efficacy of vaccination and the proportion of cases attributable to HPV types administered in the vaccine. In this review, we will examine basic HPV epidemiology and prevalence, the molecular transformation events carried out by HPV oncoproteins, and clinical trials monitoring HPV-induced disease of the female genital tract. While precise projections of exactly how vaginal and vulvar disease prevalence will change with vaccination will require more studies, the preliminary data are promising.
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