Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

HPV: Boys Allowed

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

HPV: Boys Allowed

Article excerpt

Since Gardasil, the first vaccine to target four strains of the human papillomavirus, including two known to cause around 75% of cervical careers, received approval in 2006 from the Food and Drug Administration, at least 20 states have considered making the drug mandatory for school-age girls--to be most effective, the vaccine should preode initiation of sexual activity, he same two HPV strains that cause most cervical cancers have also been linked to anal cancel but similar consideration has not been granted boys, even though about 60% of HIV-negative men and more than 90% of HIV-positive men have HPV in their anal canals. Why the discrepancy?

"Some people want to see all the evidence before jumping on the bandwagon," says physician Joel Palefsky of the University of California. San Francisco. who is studying the efficacy of Gardasil in the prevention of anal cancer and warts. "But there's enough biological similarity between the anus and the cervix that [giving boys Gardasil is] worth being done. …

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