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Cancer Linked to Oral Sex…

Timothy Kincaid

October 25th, 2007

… in heterosexuals.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, men who have oral sex with women can come into contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer in women.

Men probably obtain the virus by performing oral sex on women who have an HPV infection of the cervix. Ernster said the cancer could develop as late as 20 years after the oral sex occurred.

“Oral sex has implications that are way beyond what we first thought,” he said.

For a while, HPV was assumed to be benign – and it mostly is. But now it has been shown to be a contributer to a number of cancers. And while this observation is limited to oral sex among heterosexuals, it is likely that oral sex between men can also spread HPV.

Fortunately, there is now a recently-identified vaccine for HPV. Unfortunately, conservative activists have been fighting tooth and toenail to stop the broad vaccination of American school girls – they think it gives them permission to be promiscuous. Perhaps now that it can be shown to endanger men their objections may diminish.

The broad vaccination of all schoolchildren should be of great interest to the gay community as HPV has also been shown to play a factor in anal cancer in gay men.

Comments

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David B.
October 25th, 2007 | LINK

There’s been no study, but initial small samples out of LAC Health find that over 75% of sexually active gay men probably have HPV. How that correlates to anal cancers, if it does at all, is unknown.

However, specialists in L.A. and S.F. have been recommending gay men get the HPV vaccine and annual anal pap-smears for more than a year now. And they’ve been pounding the stump to make physicians more open to those requests.

I had to argue with mine about the vaccine and still haven’t accomplished the pap-smear.

Make no mistake though, if men can get HPV by going down on a woman, there’s little doubt it’s possible in a man-on-man situation.

Emproph
October 26th, 2007 | LINK

conservative activists have been fighting tooth and tonail to stop the broad vaccination of American school girls – they think it gives them permission to be promiscuous.

But really Timothy, who among us hasn’t gotten a flu shot and then gone right out and licked the sidewalk, just because we knew we could without getting sick from the flu virus?

Jason
October 26th, 2007 | LINK

When I was a kid, I got tons of shots. Did I know what they were for? No. I’m not entirely sure what Japanese Encephalitis is, but I’m vaccinated for it anyhow.

The religious right has a bigger agenda about sex. Read up on it. They don’t want us to have it unless we’re making babies. They want to take contraceptives away from married couples. No abortion, and definitely no HPV vaccine.
Essentially “No more sex for fun. Ladies you are having those babies, and men you are going to take care of them. If you die of cervical cancer, well then you deserve it you sinful slut.” If they can get everybody afraid of god and afraid of sex, a few dead sinners is worth it.

Timothy Kincaid
October 26th, 2007 | LINK

Jason,

They want to take contraceptives away from married couples.

I don’t think that is a goal of all of the religious right – only the Catholics.

Jason
October 26th, 2007 | LINK

Timothy, check out “Savage Love” by Dan Savage, he has better sources of the War on Sex. Columns from earlier this year refrence some of what I noted.

Erica
October 26th, 2007 | LINK

I have been told by a conservative nutjob that I shouldn’t be using anything more aggressive than the (wildly ineffective) rhythm method — and I’m married with two kids. This wasn’t a person with any particular influence over my access to contraception, they were just preaching at me. (At work, no less. Fun fun fun.) Bizarre interest in everybody’s sex life is not limited to homosexuals or unmarried couples — but it is definitely a LOT more hateful when they’re focused on those topics!

On topic of the blog post — I had already planned to get this vaccination for my daughter when she was old enough. Oddly, I never thought of doing the same for my son. But now I will… so thanks :)

David
October 28th, 2007 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid responding to Jason:

“I don’t think that is a goal of all of the religious right – only the Catholics.”

What a bigoted comment! Just where is the great effort by the Catholic Church or any Catholic lay organization to keep contraceptives out of the hands of married couples?

Martin Lanigan
October 29th, 2007 | LINK

Hi David,

As I am sure you are aware, the magesterium’s attack on all “artifical” means of contraception began with Pope Paul VI’s “Humane Vitae” in 1968.

Many Catholic organizations advocate that artificial methods of contraception are wrong/immoral/sinful. The church’s techings and advocacy make no distinction for use between married or unmarried persons.

The CCCB recently petitioned Canada’s Minister of Health about the use of the “morning after pill”. I think this qualifies as an act to “keep contraceptives out of the hands of married couples”. A link to some of the discussion around this point can be found here:

http://www.cccb.ca/site/content/view/1539/1063/lang,eng/

Your outrage and senstivity to anti-Catholic bigotry appears to be misplaced.

Jason
October 29th, 2007 | LINK

some more stuff:

Sorry I came to the table unprepared…
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/07/magazine/07contraception.html

choice quote:
*”We see a direct connection between the practice of contraception and the practice of abortion,” says Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, an organization that has battled abortion for 27 years but that, like others, now has a larger mission. “The mind-set that invites a couple to use contraception is an antichild mind-set,” she told me. “So when a baby is conceived accidentally, the couple already have this negative attitude toward the child. Therefore seeking an abortion is a natural outcome. We oppose all forms of contraception.”*

The war on sex:
http://www.ejhs.org/volume9/book38klein.htm

The Dan Savage Columns I referred to:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=31227
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=37085

Court Leaves Ala. Sex Toy Ban Intact
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jVTk0RxEEvO0n78b2XK1H8vSPXiQD8S0L3FO1

If you google “War on Contraception” or “War On Sex” you’ll find more. Homos are just the tip of the iceberg. While the major players in the anti-gay movement haven’t completely thrown their hat in the ring, this is picking up steam.

Martin Lanigan
October 29th, 2007 | LINK

An additional example of the Catholic Church actively engaged in restricting access of condoms to married and unmarried persons:

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=19561&page=1

Such actions surely constitute a great harm to humanity and to Afican women in particular.

Timothy Kincaid
October 29th, 2007 | LINK

David,

Perhaps you misunderstood me. I do not believe that all Catholics seek to restrict access to contraception. Clearly that isn’t the case.

Rather I indicated that not all of the religious right seek to restrict access and that those who do seek to restrict access to contraception are generally Catholic, as protestant churches do not (to the best of my knowledge) believe that contraception is contrary to God’s will.

David
October 29th, 2007 | LINK

Timothy,

I couldn’t tell what your intentions were from your original comment. It came across as a snarky dig against Catholics.

Martin,

I wasn’t outraged; I was shocked that Timothy would say such a thing here.

Believing that contraception is morally improper is not the same as trying to keep contraceptive measures away from couples, married or otherwise.

The CCCB document you link to has no bearing here; the Chuch considers the “morning after pill” to be a contragestive measure rather than a contraceptive one — and not without good reason.

The catholic.org article you mention doesn’t support your case either. It is about a debate within the Church on its own response to the AIDS crisis. Having an internal disagreement about what to approve or not approve in fighting HIV transmission is not plotting to keep contraceptives out of the hands of sexually active people in Africa or anywhere else.

Martin Lanigan
October 30th, 2007 | LINK

David,

I grant you that RU486 is an abortifacient and not strictly speaking a contraceptive. Nevertheless, arbortifacients and contraceptives are both methods of birth control. FYI…the pill is also technically an abortifacient. So yes…the official Church does try to restrict birth control in Canada and other countries.

As you note, the catholic.org article does show that some Catholics are in conflict with the Church hierarchy over the issue of condom distribution in Africa and elsewhere. Thank goodness for common sense! Their opposition is a good thing. I think you minimize the enormous harm the official Church is perpetrating through its opposition to condoms (which is technically a contraceptive device). The harm does not necessarily arise from the official church’s “plotting” but it’s misinformed and widely publicized views on condom efficacy.

This is not merely an “internal disagreement” among catholics. It is a nearly unamimous official church in opposition to the common sense approach of many ordinary catholics and lay people. In my opinion, the official chuch is deserving of much criticism.

David
October 30th, 2007 | LINK

Martin,

I am not minimizing the harm by the Church’s official position on anything. I have not concerned myself with whether the Church’s position is helpful or harmful.

You pointed to the opposition to promoting condoms as HIV prophylactics by most of the Catholic leadership as an example of the Church being “actively engaged in restricting access of condoms to married and unmarried persons.” I simply responded that the Church is doing no such thing.

As for the “morning after pill,” you can call contragestive measures “birth control” if you wish. For that matter you can call infanticide “birth control” if you want to do so. But we weren’t discussing such things. We were discussing whether or not the Church wants to “take contraceptives away” from people.

I stated that the Church’s oppostion to a contragestive matter could not be used as evidence of it wanting to take contraceptive measures away from people; you now switch from “contraception” to the more vague term “birth control.” That is demagoguery.

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