Some big news regarding the prevention of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The Gardasil vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 for the prevention of genital warts and cervical cancer for girls and young women 9-26 years of age. The FDA has now approved this vaccine for boys and young men aged 9 – 26 for the prevention of genital warts.
Also, a new HPV vaccine, Cervarix has been approved in girls and women aged 10- 26 to prevent infections linked to precancerous lesions and cancers of the cervix, vagina and vulva. Of course this drug will compete against Gardasil (another drug company) which has been on the market for 3 years. Both Gardasil and Cervarix prevent infection from the two HPV strains- HPV 16 and 18, that are linked to cervical cancer. The difference is that Gardasil also protects against related HPV types 6 and 11 which prevents over 90% of external genital warts. Both vaccines have a slight increased risk of certain adverse effects, including fainting and developing blood clots (especially among smokers).
It’s a great idea and socially responsible for guys to get the Gardasil vaccine. Not vaccinating boys for a sexually transmitted disease makes little sense given the fact that those infected with HPV are mostly sexually active and have multiple partners. Men can be carriers of the virus that might be transmitted to unprotected women. Even in the case of homosexual men, this virus can be transmitted during anal relations.
These vaccines can be pricey, so check with your insurance to see if it’s covered. In the long run, preventing warts and cervical cancer is far less expensive than the repeated visits and treatments involved in treating his stubborn virus.