The HPV Vaccine Shouldn’t Be Only for Girls

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syringeYou know how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that girls, generally when they're around 11 or 12, get immunized against sexually transmitted forms of human papillomavirus, which causes most cervical and anal cancers, in addition to mouth and throat cancers? Today, the committee is mulling whether to extend its recommendation to boys and young men. (It has previously been optional and not expressly recommended for boys ages 9 through 26.)

I'm no medical expert, but considering the fact that HPV can be passed along from boys and to boys, it sounds like it makes a lot of sense (and seems only fair) for boys to be routinely vaccinated as well. Doctors say vaccinating people of both genders will help protect everyone, saving thousands upon thousands of lives.

So, if it's so great, why wasn't universal vaccination -- for both boys and girls -- recommended before now? Well, one reason appears to be that some of its benefits were not known when the vaccine was initially approved for girls. New studies have found new benefits: For example, in addition to lowering the cancer rate, the HPV vaccine is now shown to be highly effective in preventing genital warts in men.

There's also been some push-back from parents -- again, of children of both genders -- about inoculating their kids against something that becomes an issue only after they become sexually active. In a way, I can understand their hesitation. But as individuals and as a society, we should realize that most kids do, eventually, grow into sexually active adults. And while it's difficult to imagine our children as eventual sexual beings, if we can do something now to ensure that their future sexual encounters are safe and healthy -- and to cut down on their rate of life-threatening cancers -- doesn't it make a whole lot of sense to do it?

Do you think boys and girls should be routinely vaccinated against HPV?

 

Image via ZaldyImg/Flickr

general health, illness, medicine, preventative medicine, sex life

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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I suppose it's technically fair to sicken and kill as many boys with the vaccine as girls but it would be much fairer not to force it on anyone.

tuffy... tuffymama

I don't think ANYONE should get this vaccine because it is killing and maiming young people. I will knock someone's head off before I let them inject my kids with this poison.

douxm... douxmusique

yowzas. i can't believe this vaccine is so widely accepted and becoming more widespread.

bills... billsfan1104

Why do bloggers like you always assume that people who are against this vaccine, are doing so because its about a sexually transmitted disease?? It has nothign to do with it. I am against it, because it only protects against a couple of strains, and for only a couple of years. It is also a drug that does not have ANY research on longterm effects, so we do not know if this is steralizing our children, or causing more damage to our children in the long run. I am not giving my daughters this vaccine at all.

Lynette Lynette

no way!  this vaccine has a really bad track record.

nonmember avatar finnja

My baby boy is only 9 months old, but i will vaccinate him before puberty. Even when it is not a vacination against all strains, it is against the most common HPV types some of them carcinogenic, others causig warts. The most severe side effect, anaphylactic shock happens in 1 in 100,000 from what I read. On a scientific basis, there is no reason to assume long-term effects like sterility or so. Most of my colleagues feel the same (we're no MDs, though, but have PhDs in Bio/chemistry) So, yeah, thumbs up for the vaccine for girls AND boys.

nonmember avatar me

my daughter will not be getting this vaccine and if I have boys they won't either.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Nope.  The fact that they're finding "new benefits" tells me the vaccine is still too new and has too many unknowns.  They can find new "problems", too.  My boys aren't lab monkeys.

nonmember avatar Little Frogs

There is no evidence that the HPV vaccine is dangerous. Out of 40 MILLION doses, there were 1600 serious adverse reactions reported to VAERS. However, that does not mean that those illnesses were caused by the vaccine... just that it happened within a given time of the vaccination.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/gardasil.html
Serious adverse event reports

Any VAERS report that indicated hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, congenital anomaly or death is classified as serious. As with all VAERS reports, serious events may or may not have been caused by the vaccine.

Torto... Tortoise77

You want you kids nice and healthy without any STD's? Teach about protection and abstinence! Sure, lets make as many vaccines to cure or prevent STD's and let everyone FUCK AROUND LIKE FREE LOLIPOPS WHERE BEING HANDED OUT!!!!!!! 

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