Why not vaccinate boys for HPV?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: We're on it.

By Lynn Harris
Published February 14, 2007 6:44PM (EST)

A brief pause today for a point of information. A recent letter to the New York Times asked a question that has also been posed by Broadsheet readers: In all the kerfuffle about HPV vaccinations for girls, where are the boys? "Why should the government restrict its vaccinations to the victims?" came the inquiry. "Why not include the carriers?"

Here, for the record, is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say on the topic: "We do not yet know if the vaccine is effective in boys or men. It is possible that vaccinating males will have health benefits for them by preventing genital warts and rare cancers, such as penile and anal cancer. It is also possible that vaccinating boys/men will have indirect health benefits for girls/women. Studies are now being done to find out if the vaccine works to prevent HPV infection and disease in males. When more information is available, this vaccine may be licensed and recommended for boys/men as well."

There you go. Stay tuned.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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