Apparently, boys should be inoculated too. I guess first of all, it would prevent boys/men from getting and passing HPV to girls/women. But that reason alone wasn’t good enough to
force offer the vaccine to males.
It’s possible that Gardasil can prevent anal cancer in men:
The new vaccine against human papillomavirus, which became available last summer, could potentially prevent thousands of cases of cervical cancer. But doctors hope the vaccine will be able to prevent a less well-known, but potentially fatal, disease in gay men, anal cancer. The same strains of HPV cause both cancers.
Although anal cancer can affect anyone, it is most common among men with histories of receptive anal intercourse — an annual rate of about 35 cases per 100,000, and perhaps twice that for those infected with HIV, which weakens the immune system.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the HPV vaccine last year for girls and women from 9 to 26 after studies indicated that it was extremely effective against infection by four of the dozens of strains of HPV, including the ones responsible for most cases of cervical and anal cancer.
“The cervix is similar biologically to the anus, so there’s plenty of hope that it will work there also,” said Dr. Joel Palefsky, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. But he cautioned that its effectiveness against anal cancer remained to be proved.
The anal cancer rate for gay men is similar to cervical cancer rates before the advent of Pap smears, the test that can detect precancerous cell abnormalities. In recent years, some doctors who treat gay men have advised their patients to undergo anal Pap smears as part of routine preventive care.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with 6.2 million people infected each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though many people clear the virus without having symptoms or knowing that they were infected. And many gay men do not realize they have an elevated risk of anal cancer.
Regulators in Australia and the European Union have approved the vaccine, called Gardasil and made by Merck, for boys ages 9 to 15. They cited data showing that it produced an immune response in boys, though its effectiveness in preventing infection in sexually active men has not been proved.
Oh, and that’s not the reaction from the parents who will be forced to have their daughters injected with the HPV semi-preventative vaccine. Those are actually the reports of reactions of those who have received it.
Vaccine center issues warning
By Gregory Lopes
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
February 3, 2007
The National Vaccine Information Center yesterday warned state officials to investigate the safety of a breakthrough cancer vaccine as Texas became the first state to make the vaccine mandatory for school-age girls.
Negative side effects of Gardasil, a new Merck vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, are being reported in the District of Columbia and 20 states, including Virginia. The reactions range from loss of consciousness to seizures.
“Young girls are experiencing severe headaches, dizziness, temporary loss of vision and some girls have lost consciousness during what appear to be seizures,” said Vicky Debold, health policy analyst for the National Vaccine Information Center, a nonprofit watchdog organization that was created in the early 1980s to prevent vaccine injuries.
Following federal approval of the vaccine in July 2006, a storm of legislation was introduced across the nation that would make the vaccine mandatory in schools. The District and Virginia are part of a group of at least 17 states considering such legislation. A measure had been introduced in Maryland, but it was shelved last week over concerns about the mandatory language in the bill.
Yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed an order making Texas the first state to require the vaccine. Girls ages 11 and 12 would receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine before entering the sixth grade starting in September 2008.
Now, admittedly, I’m not sure if this information is real or hype considering the National Vaccine Information Center promotes the whole autism/childhood vaccination link – which, like global warming, is an unproven theory based on pseudo-science, sketchy data and conspiracy hype. But considering there are other ways to prevent HPV (abstinence), I prefer not to be told my daughters MUST be vaccinated when I haven’t seen the track record of the vaccine. Perhaps I’m still miffed that the “Tell Someone” campaign commercials made my eight-year-0ld daughter believe she could get cancer from catching a cold virus – “A cancer that’s caused by a virus? Why didn’t I know about this?”