Boys get HPV too

30 Oct

Which is only one good reason to vaccinate them.  The other good reason?  They also give it to their partners.  There have been many studies that have proven the “no duh” link between men’s HPV status and their female partners’ risk of contracting the virus, especially strains that lead to cervical cancer.  Current research is also highlighting the link between non-vaginal sex and HPV transmission.

The CDCP this week finally recommended that boys as young as 11 get the three-shot HPV vaccine.  Before, their official stance was the non-stance of leaving it up to patients/parents/physicians.

Too many people still are deciding against the vaccination of both girls/women and boys/men.   Sure, there are a few practical downsides to the vaccine, such as cost and time commitment.  These have led to widening health inequities that shouldn’t be ignored.  But genital warts and the fourth-deadliest cancer in women worldwide are pretty costly and time-consuming to take care of, too.

The reasons most often cited for opposition to the vaccine in fact have nothing to do with reason at all, but rather misguided notions about sexuality.  Say it with me now: Provision of safer sex methods do not make teens have more sex (or for that matter, any other non-heterosexually-married-in-the-eyes-of-God adult that conservatives want to keep chaste).   I mean, if it did, so what?  But I digress…

Point is, HPV is a problem that is easily almost entirely preventable.  On an individual level, even if you don’t think your child is sexually active, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?  And from a public health standpoint, all vaccines work better the greater the uptake.  Some very real barriers to access do need to be addressed, but illogical, factually incorrect fear-mongering shouldn’t be one of them.


3 Responses to “Boys get HPV too”

  1. Tatyana November 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    I agree that everyone should get vaccinated…but if you can’t convince the mother of a female child to vaccinate her daughter, how are you going to convince the mother of a male child? After all, if the risk of cervical cancer isn’t scarier than the alleged risk of more sex, then what scare tactic even exists for the males? And lets not pretend we don’t need scare tactics to force social responsibility on people.

    • thoroughly modern milli vanilli November 3, 2011 at 12:29 am #

      I agree entirely, Tatyana. I mean, there is the scare of gross warts, but we do need more than that to convince all parents to vaccinate their children. I think the best first step is to correct all the misinformation out there. Treat it like any other vaccine. I’m sure there were plenty of parents who thought “hey, MY kid’s never gonna get the mumps,” but that doesn’t stop most people from getting the MMR vaccine. Know what I mean?



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