Australian researchers say vaccination for the human papillomavirus, HPV, is proving to be exceedingly effective in cutting down the rate of genital warts associated with the sexually transmitted infection, STI.

A nationally-funded HPV vaccination program launched back in 2007 made Australia one of the first countries to implement an initiative on that large of a scale. Free vaccinations were offered to girls between the ages of 12 and 13 with the addition of two more groups of participants between the ages of 13 to 18 and 18 to 26, two years after the initial start of the program.

Researchers from various Australian health institutes tracked incidents of HPV diagnoses before and after the start of this national vaccination program. 

Of the woman surveyed, the research team noticed a drastic decline in the number of diagnosed genital warts cases. The national average dropped from 11.5 percent in 2007 to .85 percent in 2011 among women under the age of 21 and 11.3 percent in 2007 to 3.1 percent in 2011 among women between the ages of 21 and 30.  

The research team attributes this significant decline in genital wart diagnoses among women to the efficiency of the vaccine outside of the trial setting.

Ultimately, 85,770 Australians were found to have the HPV infection, but only 7,786 showed symptoms of genital warts. 

Authors of the study wrote, "In women, with 83% first dose vaccine coverage, a 93% decline in diagnosis of genital warts was seen by the fifth year of the national quadrivalent HPV vaccination programme in Australia."

The results of this study can be found in the online journal BMJ.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states there are over 40 types of HPV making it the most common STI. Although 90 percent of HPV symptoms dissipate within two years, if the infection persists bigger problems may arise such as genital warts, a rare respiratory condition known as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, RRP, and in some cases even cervical cancer.