hpv vaccine

Fact of life, most of the burden when it comes to sexual health falls on the woman. Although it has been four years since the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine was approved for use in young men, the preventive measure is still being targeted largely toward girls.

Never mind that HPV-related cancers are on the rise — including cancers of the esophagus and anus.

In February of last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an official statement explicitly recommending HPV vaccination for boys 11 to 12 years old and catch-up vaccination for those 13 to 21, and the New York Times reported on data showing that roughly 1 in 15 Americans are infected with oral HPV, and that the disease is especially common among men.

So why is the focus mainly on girls?

However a new study is showing that the tide might be turning. Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) found that low-income and minority parents/guardians were receptive toward vaccinating boys against HPV as their awareness about the severe consequences of being exposed to HPV grew.

According to the study’s lead author, Rebecca Perkins, MD, MSc, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at BUSM:

“This study indicates that most parents would accept HPV vaccination for their sons just as readily as for daughters. Future research should explore the effects of the 2012 recommendations for routine vaccination for males on parental attitudes and uptake of HPV vaccination among both sexes.”

With the number of minorities infected with sexually transmitted diseases on the a steady incline, it’s time that society really push the importance of sexual health on both our young girls and boys. Hopefully this new research and attitude towards HPV vaccines for boys is a sign of a positive shift.

Do you support the need to vaccinate boys against HPV? Why?

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  • The Other Jess

    Y.E.S. Males and females should each be held 50% responsible for safe sex. Women and girls should not shoulder the burden alone. If males want to have sex, they need to take the same precautions as women because they are 50% responsible for pregnancy, and 50% as likely to get or spread disease.

  • justanotheropinion

    My daughters Doc is a Black man with 3 daughters of his own. We’ve gone to him for several years and have had many honest discussions. When I took her in last year for her annual physical for school, we had a discussion about this. His take: “It is too new. I will not have any of my girls receiving this vaccination. It’s too new and all of the side affects are not known.” I asked him about my son (also his patient) and he said his answer was still the same. He did say “having said that, we all need to sit down and have some very frank, honest and real life conversations about the risks of sex”. We did.

    I trust this man. Both sexes are responsible for laying down with each other. However, if this man isn’t willing to risk the safety of his own daughters, I have a hard time subjecting my kids to those risks.

  • Instead of running to vaccinations, we need to just start having more frank conversations about sexual health with our sons and daughters (and each other because there are plenty of grown folks that don’t know their left from their right when it comes to sexual/reproductive health). If anything, the way people are reckless with their genitals these days, i don’t doubt that any vaccine/medication will have people thinking they’ve got a get-out-of-std-free card and be even more reckless than before. I’ve seen/heard people refer to herpes as “just a skin rash” and talking about they are HIV positive but they still have unprotected sex because they are on meds so its ok (and people still sleep with them knowing this).

    Conversations definitely need to be had!

  • I have a son and I do not intend on having him forced into taking a vaccine that was chemically formed for women. It was not created for men at all. I am no longer a single parent, poor, or uneducated; I teach for a living and recently began homeschooling my son. Teaching a child about sexuality and sexual health will prevent a lot of these diseases. Are people stupid and have lapses in judgment?
    Of course. However, if parents, instead of preaching abstinence; which is not normal or healthy for the body, and taught instead the attributes that should lead to one having sexual intercourse of any type with someone else, perhaps, we could control the spread of diseases.
    My son’s peditrician told me to think about it and by June, I am, I suspect, supposed to allow him to receive three shots, over the course of six months, that “might protect him from a few strains of HPV”. What am I not being told by the doctor? She was very forceful in believing he should receive this vaccination. I knew then, and still hold to the fact that I force some drug into a male’s system, particularly when the drug was specifically formulated for the female system. ***And sometimes we wonder why so many people have other health and mental issues that did not seem so prevalent fifty -seventy years ago!