Would You Allow Your Son To Get The HPV Vaccine?

by Danielle Pointdujour

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?

  • Smilez_920

    3 reason this is needed.

    1) There is no legal test on the market that can acuratley test HPV in men. ( unless the have the outward symptoms of genetail warts).

    2) kill the problem at the source. Because it can’t be detected in men as easily as its detected in women, giving boys age 11 and up the vaccine will help.

    3) this is a great way to teach your sons sexual responsibilty. Women always get the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to sex. We’re in the GYN at least 2-4 times a yr once sexually active. Boys need to understand that going to the doctor to keep your sexual wealth intact is important. Don’t wait for your gf to get checked before you go to the doctor.

  • Nonsense

    This is a money making sham! This vaccine is “supposedly” helpful for 6-8 strains of the virus. There are almost 100 strains. These 6-8 are only related to HPV that causes cancer, not genital warts. Please posts the facts. HPV clears it self or goes dormant in most cases in 2 years. Women/girls have died from this vaccine. Its a less than 5 % chance that HPV related cancers will actually cause cervical cancer. It usually goes away.
    Merck lost a lot of money due to VIOXX. This HPV vaccine is one of the most expensive ever. Merck is praying that this will help them rebound. However, most parents are not buying it.

  • Nonsense

    “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.
    Poor people read less, dont know what HPV is/dont understand the strains and are subject to free clinics. These doctors break nothing down to them. Poor people dont know that most states have exemptions for all vaccines. In most states NO VACCINE IS MANDATORY.
    Wealthy people read and go to better doctors.

  • LeopardSpots

    Actually two of the strains are linked to cancer and the others can cause warts. HPV infection can cause fatal oral, anal, and cervical cancer so the vaccine saves lives. It is the number one STD period so why wouldn’t we want to protect ourselves and our children. SMH.

  • E.M.S.

    It’s obvious why all things related to sexual health and responsibility are targeted at girls, and you said it in the very first line. People assume since women are more vulnerable to sexual ailments, women are expected to do all the work of keeping themselves, and men healthy. But it’s high time we teach boys sexual health and responsibility too. Society’s entire outlook on sex is just wrong for putting everything on us.

    WE are supposed to use contraception.

    WE are supposed to get the vaccine.

    WE are supposed to “not get pregnant or raped.”

    We are supposed to not be promiscuous/have multiple partners so stop the spread of STD’s.

    Excuse me while I roll my eyes. Last time I checked it takes two people to have sex and risk contracting anything.

  • http://twitter.com/isistheblogger isistheblogger

    This is very interesting. I’m all for sexual health and education but when it comes to new vaccines on the market or new birth control I am very skeptical, especially when it is heavily pushed in low income communities.

    I remember when I was a young woman(15) or so and Depo was being pushed so hard to anyone who went to the free clinic. Fast forward some years then there are all these new cases of issues due to prolong use of Depo.

    I find it better to teach your child about all aspects of sex, sexual health, etc…instead of quickly jumping to injecting something that hasn’t had a long term study into their bodies. I know medical professionals that wouldn’t give their children this shot. Condoms work just fine, as we all should know…if someone has the type of HPV that causes genital warts, transmission is caused by skin to skin contact.

  • Nonsense

    I stand corrected 2 strains that cause warts is suppose to be prevented by the vaccine. What about the others strains?

    Women with permanent disabilities from vaccine, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/24/hpv-vaccine-victim-sues-merck.aspx

    Why are we taking these risks for an infection that clears itself in 90% of cases? Sorry I would not risk my daughter being paralyzed to prevent a virus that clears itself.

    Gonorrhea and chlamydia vaccines would seem a lot smarter. Especially when Gonorrhea is becoming resistant to meds.

  • Nonsense

    “Its a less than 5 % chance that HPV related cancers will actually cause cervical cancer. It usually goes away.”
    Sorry, I meant to type, Its a less than 5% chance the HPV virus related to cancer will actually cause cervical cancer.

  • 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.

  • The Other Jess

    While I do think that if girls have to get the HPV vaccine, so should boys, you make some very interesting points. Your suspicions are understandable, especially when,as you say, something like this is being marketed so hard to non-white and low-income communities. The U.S has definitely conducted unethical experiments on Black American populations before, so you have to do your research and be wary.

  • 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.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    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!

  • http://gravatar.com/mrsberry79 mrsberry79

    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!

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