Narrator: This is Science Today. Vaccinating boys against the sexually transmitted infection known as human papillomavirus, or HPV, could one day lead to fewer Pap smears for women. Researcher Joel Palefsky of the University of California, San Francisco, explains that as more of the population is inoculated against HPV, routine Pap smears may become unnecessary.
Palefsky: We're moving in that direction and when we get the newer generations of vaccines that have more HPV types in them, we may even be able to eliminate the Pap smear all together or make it much less frequent.
Narrator: Regular Pap smears are the No. 1 method of screening for HPV in females, a disease that affects up to 80 percent of sexually active adults and is a leading cause of cervical cancer.
Palefsky: Women would appreciate even more not having the procedures that are required to prevent the cancers when they're diagnosed with the HPV-associated cancer precursors.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.