Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Panel recommends HPV vaccine for boys

From the NYT:

Boys and young men should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, to protect against anal and throat cancers that can result from sexual activity, a federal advisory committee said Tuesday.
Parents of boys face some uncomfortable realities when choosing whether to have their child vaccinated. The burden of disease in males results mostly from oral or anal sex, but vaccinating boys will also benefit female partners since cervical cancer in women results mostly from vaginal sex with infected males.

For the record, The Kalamazoo Post made a similar proposal in 2007:

My modest proposal is to make the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine mandatory for boys and optional for girls. Frankly, I'm hesitant to make the HPV vaccine mandatory for anyone, especially for the first five years of use until unforeseen problems can be studied. My bias is to keep such things optional for all, but if mandatory vaccination is to be instituted, I would argue that boys should be required before girls.

Newer data on the increase in males acquiring HPV related anal and head/neck cancers makes the recommendation more compelling.

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