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Vaccine for HPV Effective in Men

Timothy Kincaid

July 2nd, 2009

Just ask any anti-gay activist and they’ll tell you: the gays get anal cancer!! In 1997 the anti-gay group Concerned Women for America, in support for their claim that “homosexuality is by its very nature dangerous to those who practice it”, declared

Homosexual men’s practice of anal sex has left many of them victims of anal cancer. One article in the New England Journal of Medicine commented, “Our study lends strong support to the hypothesis that homosexual behavior in men increases the risk of anal cancer: 21 of the 57 men with anal cancer (37 percent) reported that they were homosexual or bisexual, in contrast to only one of 64 controls.”

And even the CDC warns

Gay and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men.

You may find this surprising. Looking at your friends you may wonder, “Who has anal cancer here? Why are they keeping this a secret from me?”

Well fear not. Your friends aren’t lying to you. While anal cancer is far more frequent in gay men than heterosexuals (and even more common to HIV politive men), it is still very very rare – and about to become rarer still.

HPV, the human papillomavirus, is sexually transmitted and very common. According to the CDC, “Most sexually active people in the United States (U.S.) will have HPV at some time in their lives.”

Although the virus may never present symptoms, it’s most known for causing genital warts. At any given time 1% of sexually active men in the US have genital warts.

More seriously, a number of cancers have been shown to be associated with HPV including cervical cancer, penile cancer, and anal cancer. Each of these are fairly rare.

The rate of anal cancer in men is 9 out of 100,000. In gay men that rate soars to 35 out of 100,000.

Although 0.035% is hardly the sort of occurrance rathat argues that “homosexuality is by its very nature dangerous”, we should not dismiss or treat lightly the pain and misery brought about by this disease.

Fortunatly there is a vaccine for the type of HPV that causes cancers. It is nearly 100% effective in reducing infection in women. However, the vaccine has not yet been approved for use on men.

A new study may lend support to the vaccination of men as well. (xtra)

“The numbers right now look not quite as good as the girls’ but still very, very good,” says Palefsky. “The vaccine was nearly 100 percent effective [in women] so you obviously can’t do better than that.”

Palefsky says the vaccine would still make an effective preventative health tool for everyone because the same strains of HPV that cause most cervical cancers in women also cause a majority of anal cancers in men.

“They’re entirely the same,” he says. “That’s why we’re optimistic that if boys do get vaccinated with the same vaccine that girls are using, it should prevent a substantial number of anal cancers.”

Conservatives have opposed the application of this vaccine for girls under the logic that it presumes that their little Suzy is going to be a promiscuous slut. And since they are good Christians kids wearing their purity ring they will never be exposed to a sexually transmitted virus. (In my experience, Christian kids tend to experience miracle babies – those who show up fully devoloped and health about seven months after a rapidly planned wedding.)

We can expect an even higher level of objection to vaccinating little Johnny who is undoubtedly going to give up his desire to be church organist when he grows up, develops an interest in sports, and marries a nice Christian girl.

But as a matter of policy, every child in the country should be vaccinated, regardless of sex. I care about Suzy and Johnny’s heath even if their parents do not.

Comments

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Troy
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Studies also indicate that the vaccine reduces outbreaks for those older that already have HPV. Even if it eventually becomes available to the young it should also be available to older men (and women). The way it is being released (only to the young) makes this a long haul. Why no protests?

Evan
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Heh.

“We can expect an even higher level of objection to vaccinating little Johnny who is undoubtedly going to give up his desire to be church organist when he grows up, develops an interest in sports, and marries a nice Christian girl.”

Or, in my case, parents who really aren’t at all bothered by the fact that their boy is the musical sort, but are still shocked shocked shocked (shocked!) that their little boy wouldn’t be marrying a nice Christian girl.

paul j stein
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Praise the Lord! Another gift from God to kill the fa**ots and keep our youth safe. Complete with dire warnings of impending doom if engaging in any type of sexual act that will not create another human life!

anonymous
July 3rd, 2009 | LINK

I wrote an article on the HPV vaccine roughly 1.5 years ago in which I pointed out that the company that manufactures the HPV vaccine was trying to expand to both males and “older” females despite their own research showing that it had little to no effect in either population. At the time I wrote the article, they had been turned down for expansion into any male market and it was unlikely they would get approval for “older” women. My article also discussed the high profile cases of children ending up permanently disabled and, in rare cases, dead after taking the vaccine, the countries that were already considering banning it, the problems with its approval (ie former employees were on the FDA board) and questioned the racial issues behind the attempt to force immigrant women and girls to get the vaccine just to become citizens. At the time, a lot of feminist groups and health advocates said I was supporting cervical cancer by spreading fear (even tho everything I wrote was based on review of the drug both internally – ie by the company itself- and externally, by the review boards that had examined the drugs and the petitions for expansion). Since then, at least one major feminist blog published a post on it and several alternative journals have carried shorter versions of the piece questioning the drug based on the id of their readership.

I am telling you this b/c I believe that the vaccine got approval for gay men precisely b/c the company used “the fear of cancer” to get it approved and not b/c it will be beneficial to gay men. More than that, the memo I quoted in my article clearly stated that they thought “the male market would be a lucrative addition” ie they were motivated not by health but money. And having once been barred from the entire male market, they had to take the fear of the queer angle to wedge their way in.

Please do the research on the company and the drug before any of you consider taking it.

Regan DuCasse
July 4th, 2009 | LINK

When it comes to public health and various demographics that suffer more from various infections or other presumably preventable diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, sometimes the reason for higher incidences are genetic in origin (either for an individual’s inherited susceptibility) or geographic location nearer certain chemicals or forestation.

The point is, sexually transmitted disease has been with mankind for all the ages.
And although the sexual health of women is far more political, I’m always intrigued by how either extreme conservatives or the religious right are so resistant to supporting and funding research and CURES.

There is a lot of finger pointing at gay men in particular as disease carriers from these critics, but I don’t hear them talking about SUPPORTING comprehensive sex education, giving donations to HIV/AIDS funding or being the least bit realistic about investing in the emotional and physical well being of EVERYONE, because everyone NEEDS it.
It’s easy to criticize, but participate in CHANGING things for the better with better methods of reaching the public at large with anything but scare words and lies and misinformation?
Doesn’t look like it.

This vaccine was an exciting medical advancement and one that everyone has a right to learn about and find out if they are right for it.
What is it about the gay community that makes these people want to leave their intelligence back in the stone age?

Jason D
July 4th, 2009 | LINK

“The point is, sexually transmitted disease has been with mankind for all the ages.
And although the sexual health of women is far more political, I’m always intrigued by how either extreme conservatives or the religious right are so resistant to supporting and funding research and CURES.”

Because they’ve decided that sex is only, only, only for procreation. It can be between spouses for non-procreative purposes, because that just makes them more heterosexual, and that’s totally fine.

But ultimately these people don’t want anyone having consequence-free sex. If they can’t sell people on abstinence for the sake of abstinence — well then they want people to suffer from being sexually active one way or another. They think sex for pleasure is wrong, period. So anything that allows people to have sex without paying “the price” is also wrong and to be stopped. So anyone having sex for pleasure should be, in some way, punished. Since we no longer shun people, disease and unplanned pregnancy are the next best things.

If they can’t put the fear of God into people, they will settle for the fear of disease, death, and or pregnancy.

Genitalwartscure
November 21st, 2010 | LINK

“Its really good article. Wow, So amazing and very useful. And i was surprised.I really liked it. That means a vaccine targeted to young men who know they’re gay or bisexual likely wouldn’t reach many of the males who may need it, or reach them early enough. With boys, as with girls, the HPV vaccine is most effective when it’s given.

Try to visit this website http://cureforgenitalwart.net/ for more information.”

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