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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mommas Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be Oral, Rectal, or Penile Cancer Victims, Cervical Cancer Vectors

Posted by on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Vaccinate all your children, moms and dads:

U.S. vaccine advisers Tuesday voted to recommend that boys be routinely vaccinated with Merck & Co's Gardasil vaccine to protect them from human papillomavirus or HPV infections, which cause genital warts and oral, penile and anal cancers in males and cervical cancers in women. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, voted unanimously to recommend routine use of Gardasil in 11- and 12-year-old boys to fight the sexually transmitted virus, with 13 yes votes and one abstention.


Comments (38) RSS

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Finally. I was seriously surprised it wasn't this way all along!
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on October 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM · Report this
You don't have to be in the recommended age range either. I'm a 28-year-old guy and Planned Parenthood gave me Gardasil without batting an eye. My health insurance even covered it. Insurers generally like the preventative stuff but you may want to ask yours in advance because the three doses are very expensive.
Posted by Lumpmoose on October 25, 2011 at 9:47 AM · Report this
When I saw my SIL last week (and my 4 nephews and 2 nieces), I managed to steer the conversation to Gardisil. Without batting an eye, she said the 3 oldest (boys 11, 13, 15) already have an appointment for their shots next month. *whew*
Posted by infrequentposter on October 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM · Report this
The Psion 4
@2 Do you think that would vary by area? When I contacted my local Planned Parenthood about avaibility and coverage two years ago, they could only refer me to the local healthcare giant (Hi, UPMC).

I'm 27, but would like to get it if it will still be effective, I guess I'm most curious about that, one call to the local PP would answer my first question.

Sorry, thinking as I type, I'll stop that.
Posted by The Psion on October 25, 2011 at 10:06 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 5
It's about fucking time. Guys have been passed over for the HPV vaccine for too long.
Posted by kitschnsync on October 25, 2011 at 10:09 AM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 6
I'm sure there are going to be [even more] parents up in arms about this: "if you vaccinate my children against sex cancer, they will start whoring around even earlier than they were going to already." I dunno. If I'd been given a vaccination at age 13 and told "this will help protect you against the CANCER you can get from having sex, although not from any of the other stuff," I'm pretty sure it would have scared the living shit out of me.

(NY Times article, FWIW:…)
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on October 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
AmyC 7
@4 - well, Gardasil is a relatively new vaccine, so when you asked for it 2 years ago, supply might have been a bit tight (just a guess). i think it would be worth asking for again.
Posted by AmyC on October 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM · Report this
ryanayr 8
So, considering this, I suspect that conservatives will drop their attack on the HPV vaccine now that boys are confirmed to be able to receive HPV-related cancer as well.
Posted by ryanayr on October 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM · Report this
I've just begun the vaccine. It is delivered in 3 shots; the 2nd 2 months after the first shot, and the 3rd six months after the first shot. Each shot costs $190 and my insurance (UHC) does not cover it.

So how Rick Perry was going to mandate in Texas is beyond me. Don't get me wrong - it is a good thing. It is just not a cheap thing.
Posted by CosmicLint on October 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM · Report this
@4 - I just got the first dose in March and the vaccine is still very new so I'm guessing there has been a policy change. There was a sign about HPV right at the front desk when I was there. And I don't think it's age that makes Gardasil less effective but experience. Since we're all just stats to the FDA, calculating by age is the simplest way to write guidelines. I wasn't very experienced so my chance of already having HPV was still very low.
Posted by Lumpmoose on October 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM · Report this
The age limit has to do with the likelihood of exposure. It's recommended for 9-14 year olds because it is ideal to treat patients who have never had sex. If you are a sexually active adult in your mid-to-late-20s, it is more likely that you have been exposed to HPV at some point. There's still no accepted way to test for infection in males. Once a patient has already been infected, the vaccine will not help. There have also been no conclusive findings on the drug's efficacy past age 26, which is why this is the age limit.
Posted by not a real user on October 25, 2011 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 12
I know it's important and all...but it's getting to be a little sickening every week to see the NFL decked out with Breast Cancer logos. I mean, one week...okay...but every week? I tune into games to see the cheerleaders and think about nice big fruitful healthy melons, bulging from colorful tight uniforms...not think about blackening tumors.

Glad to see that both sexes are being given the grim treatment though...balances things...and all that...
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on October 25, 2011 at 10:50 AM · Report this
My kids' pediatrician started recommending Gardasil for boys over a year ago. Both my son and my daughter will receive it when they're old enough.
Posted by Ms B on October 25, 2011 at 11:12 AM · Report this
kim in portland 14
Both of mine, a daughter and a son, were done.
Posted by kim in portland on October 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM · Report this
@ 12, Its not that bad besides its only done for a month
Posted by Democrat1234 on October 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 16
For all the parents concerned that this vaccination will encourage your kids to have sex (yeah, I know those parents aren't reading this site): Tell your 9-year-old, "This vaccination will help protect you against certain types of cancer." You don't have to tell them *which* cancers, nor which activities put them at risk for contracting the virus that can cause that type of cancer.

Posted by Kevin_BGFH on October 25, 2011 at 11:42 AM · Report this
@10: Yes, it is about (sexual) experience, not age. 11 is to get people vaccinated BEFORE they become sexually active for the maximum benefit to them, their partners and society. If everyone was a virgin until 30, 29 would be the ideal age. But the other reason they go to the younger side is that parents are used to taking their kids in for shots, kids are still going to doctors somewhat regularly, getting sports physicals, etc. Which isn't true a few years later.

The reason they don't go much younger (even though kids have more doctor visits when very young) is no one knows how long immunity lasts. We've seen a number of vaccines we thought provided life-long protection need boosters decades later.

And even if one already has an HPV, Gardasil covers four (types 6 and 11 - 90% of gential warts; 16 and 18 70% of HPV cancers), so there is definite benefit for anyone, their partner, and society at any age, if they or their partner aren't exclusive.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on October 25, 2011 at 11:52 AM · Report this
It's not mentioned in this article (weird), but just a few weeks ago there were reports of major rises in HPV-related throat cancer in men, such that it is expected to surpass the rates of cervical cancer in women by 2020.…
Posted by Shannon Murphy on October 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM · Report this
BEG 19
Yes, I've seen otherwise very reasonable parents go up in arms against this. I can't figure it out, I think SEX just shorts some peoples' brains out.

I know that I would have also been scared silly if I'd been vaccinated against this at 11 (HOLY COW YOU CAN GET **WHAT** FROM SEX?!). There's no way I would have been like SCORE!!!!! the way some of these parents seem to think. I'm utterly baffled.

I understand more about being suspicious of pharmeceutical companies but that seems to be a more secondary concern.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on October 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM · Report this
@18, yeah, I really expected Dan to mention that.
Posted by science chick on October 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 21
Wow. 21 comments into a vaccination post without multiple paragraphs of racist babble from SgtDoom about how evil indian/chinese vaccine doctors are poisoning our children's precious bodily fluids? Sleeping off a cough syrup high must take until at least 2pm or something.
Posted by Doctor Memory on October 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM · Report this
Thank you to everyone in this thread who is male and been vaccinated :) I'll think of you when I get my colposcopies.
Posted by kersy on October 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM · Report this
ceefurn 23
All this talk of vaccinations for HPV have never lead me to any articles or thoughts about what to do if you've contracted HPV. Are you (and your partner) basically doomed to cancer at that point? Like a ticking time bomb?
Posted by ceefurn on October 25, 2011 at 1:52 PM · Report this
igub 24
But does it cause autism? Or maybe Bachmann can find an example of a boy who turned gay because of the shot? You laugh, but I'll bet within a year the whack-a-doodles are claiming a link to being gay.
Posted by igub on October 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM · Report this
MythicFox 25
@20 -- I think he's mentioned it on his podcast once or twice.

@23 -- You're not doomed, but you're at a higher risk if I recall. That said, HPV-caused cancers are generally easier to successfully treat than cancers that aren't related to an HPV infection.
Posted by MythicFox on October 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM · Report this
emma's bee 26
@20 & 25: yes, of course Dan covered it on Slog, just a couple weeks ago:…

The part Dan & the Planned Parenthood doc covered in his podcast but not here was the fact that "open-mouth" kissing could also transmit HPV.

Then, today there was a new (small, but well conducted) study that found HPV+ women have higher risk of heart disease and stroke:…

HPV is really coming off as one badass muthafucka of a virus.
Posted by emma's bee on October 25, 2011 at 3:26 PM · Report this
I doubt it'll be controversial to give it to boys. After all, boys who have sex are manly and virile and cool. It's only girls that we have to worry about becoming nasty little sluts.
Posted by ishf on October 25, 2011 at 3:47 PM · Report this
The Dreamer 28
Now we just have to wait for health insurance companies to cover it. Just last week I found out that I would have to pay about $500 for the vaccine out of pocket just because I'm a man.
Posted by The Dreamer on October 25, 2011 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Mommas, the Best Way to Not have Your Boys Grow Up To Be Oral, Rectal, or Penile Cancer Victims, Cervical Cancer Vectors is to Not Let Them be Gay.....
Posted by SC1ENCE! on October 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM · Report this
@29: you are completely wrong. This virus is present in about 50% or more of the sexually active population and it doesn't discriminate between gay or straight. I diagnose 2-3 young women each week with HPV infection in my practice, so, boys aren't safe at all by being hetero.
Posted by drcme on October 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM · Report this
jackdee 31
@24 In the name of Zeus, don't give them any ideas!
Posted by jackdee on October 25, 2011 at 10:58 PM · Report this
I'm 26, got mine done 3 years ago, and my doctor said I was already on the limit of efficiency (I wasn't sexually active yet - late bloomer). So considering how expensive it is, and how a LOT of people are asking for it at the same time, doctors who refuse it to 25+ people might have a point...
And one thing to be kept in mind at all times, and should appear on these articles evry time is that the vaccine doesn't prevent these cancers 100% of the time (more like 8% according to studies). So people should still get checked.
Posted by juli81 on October 26, 2011 at 2:01 AM · Report this
I think that the vaccinations should be standard but that people should be able to opt out for any reason. (Because HPV is less contagious than, say, measels.) Most people go with the flow most of the time.
Posted by DRF on October 26, 2011 at 7:00 AM · Report this
You can get the price of the shot greatly reduced (to about 38 dollars a shot). I would fill out the form at your local PP and let them handle it as they are all hooked up with the program.…

Posted by Get the damn shot on October 26, 2011 at 7:38 AM · Report this
If you are really worried that your child will turn into a raging slut after getting the HPV vaccine, get it for her/him anyhow, but tell her/him it's a vaccine against whooping cough, and that you didn't get her/him the vaccine against HPV because you think God wants to punish slutty girls/boys with cancer and babies, and you didn't want to interfere with God's plan.
Posted by Ivan on October 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM · Report this
luke1249 36
I love how the left descends into blind fury about kickbacks when Perry's name is mentioned in relation to this. The possibility that he was genuinely concerned? UNPOSSIBLE!! HE'S A REPUBLICAN!!
Posted by luke1249 on October 27, 2011 at 6:33 AM · Report this
Relying on the threat of death by cancer to keep your kids from having sex is not all that fundamentally different from relying on the threat of death by stoning.
Posted by larala on October 27, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
thecheesegirl 38
@36 No, it's not because he's a Republican, it's because he's an asshole. However, I do agree that he may actually have, at least in part, been considering humanitarian concerns, because, well, I don't think he's evil, just your average, run-of-the-mill self-serving turd.
Posted by thecheesegirl on October 31, 2011 at 5:29 AM · Report this

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