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Medicine Science

HPV Vaccine Recommended For Boys 569

Posted by timothy
from the pushed-by-big-pharma-and-not-a-cure-all dept.
necro81 writes "An advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon issue new recommendations that pre-adolescent boys be vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The disease is sexually transmitted, endemic in the sexually active, can cause genital warts in both men and women, and is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which kills hundreds of thousands of women globally each year. The three-dose vaccination has been available for several years and is already recommended for pre-adolescent girls. Vaccinating boys should further reduce transmission."
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HPV Vaccine Recommended For Boys

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  • by fwice (841569) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @01:25PM (#37833368)

    It's not just penile cancer. Also, depending on how transferred, HPV can cause rectal and oral (throat) cancers.

    I also ready today (here [nytimes.com]) that HPV may lead to future heart trouble.

  • Re:swingers? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fwice (841569) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @01:35PM (#37833508)

    I got the HPV vaccine last year as a male at the age of 26. There is the overall thought that if you are sexually active (ie, not a non-infected virgin with another non-infected virgin), you will have obtained some strain of HPV (there are more than 150, most are relatively benign). Your body can "clear" most of these, and they will never be an issue. I thought it was still appropriate for me to get the vaccine, as there are some benefits:

    • if you aren't infected with certain strains, you are vaccinated from 2 high-risk (HPV 16&18, cancer causing) and 2 high-trauma (HPV 6&11, wart causing) strains of HPV. These strains account for ~70% of HPV-related cancers and ~90% of warts, if I recall the numbers correctly.
    • if you are infected with HPV 6/11/16/18, the vaccine may help your body to clear and infection if it lingers, and may reduce (or eliminate) outbreaks of warts

    Vaccination was uncovered by my insurance (gee, thanks!) but I figured it was worth the $510, to protect myself and any partners (should I be a carrier).

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @01:39PM (#37833574) Homepage

    I am not a doctor. My guess is that urine keeps the penis cleaner than the cervix. Are there any doctors who can comment on my guess?

    I will avoid making snarky comments about your elimination habits (although it is rather tempting).....

    The Standard Model of cervical cancer (I made the term up, we don't call it that) goes like this:

    The cervix [wikimedia.org] has two different types of epithelial (skin) cells. The area where these two types intersect (called the 'transitional zone) is a region of high cell turnover - cells are dying and being replaced, lots of chemical and genetic activity. This makes it an ideal place for the HPV virus to switch cell growth from normal to abnormal. So even though you can get HPV infections in other parts of the cervix / vagina / anus / penis it is the activity in the transitional zone that cause problems.

    Males don't have a cervix (no, don't go there, this is a quality, family oriented web site), no transition zone. LESS (not zero) cancers.

    Most HPV induced cancers in males are found in the anal regions where again, cell division and turnover are relatively high. HPV associated cancers in the mouth and throat are rarer still, but they do happen.

    The major thrust (so to speak) for immunizing males is that they are typically 50% of the sexually active couple (more or less) and decreasing the amount of viral load will lead to a decrease in infections which will lead to a decrease in HPV associated disease.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @02:18PM (#37834164) Homepage Journal

    "I think an individual rights are more important than the society,"
    You are wrong.

    I am right.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by SETIGuy (33768) * on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @02:48PM (#37834636) Homepage

    Right now, 1 in 140 women will get cervical cancer due to HPV. Lets see which makes "Big Pharma" more money, 140 HPV vaccinations (3 doses each), or chemotherapy medicines for one person with cervical cancer (one round of 6 cycles)? Well, based on cost alone 420 doses of HPV vaccine is $163,800. One round of six cycles of chemo (meds alone) is about $150,000. So Pharma might make a small amount of money by preventing cervical cancer. That's only a real problem if you think that the value of a human life is less than about $13,800 (and if you don't count the cost of pap smears.)

    13,000 women a year get cervical cancer in the US, nearly all from HPV. And for all the men here snickering and saying that it's not our problem. There were about 1200 cases of penile cancer last year and about 300 of them were due to HPV infection.

  • Re:HEY! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@gmai l . c om> on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @02:54PM (#37834774) Homepage
    I went and looked up [merck.com] the actual report on Gardasil's adverse reactions. Here's the straight dope:

    Potential Autoimmune Disorder | Gardasil (11,813) | Placebo (9701)
    Juvenile Arthritis | 1 | 0
    Rheumatoid Arthritis | 2 | 0
    Systemic lupus erythematosis | 0 | 1
    Arthritis | 5 | 2
    Reactive Arthritis | 1 | 0

    So, at worst, the rate of such diseases was ~0.076% with Gardasil and ~0.031% without it. But these numbers are so low that the difference could easily be due to chance. There's no real evidence that Gardasil had anything to do with those cases. Saying otherwise is just scare tactics.
  • Re:HEY! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @07:11PM (#37838530) Homepage Journal

    "The FDA adverse event reports on the HPV vaccine read like a catalog of horrors. Any state or local government now beset by Merckâ(TM)s lobbying campaigns to mandate this HPV vaccine for young girls ought to take a look at these adverse health reports."
    -Tom Fitton

    On June 8, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Gardasil. Gardasil is a vaccine against certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) which is the primary cause of cervical cancer in women.

    • Several state and local governments have proposed requiring the vaccine for school girls entering the 6th grade.
    • Gardasil is approved for girls as young as nine years old, despite the fact that the youngest girls participating in clinical trials were 11-12 years old.
    • A recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also questioned the general effectiveness of Gardasil. Additionally, there has not been a chance to study long term side effects of the vaccine.

    Judicial Watch, concerned about the rush to market and mandate a drug with possible serious adverse effects, filed its first Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on May 9, 2007, and received 1,637 adverse event reports on May 15, 2007. These reports are submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and used by the FDA to monitor the safety of vaccines.

    On August 20, 2007 Judicial Watch filed a request for updated adverse event reports and received 1,824 reports on September, 13 2007. Judicial Watch then filed a complaint against the FDA on October 3, 2007 for failing to fully respond to the May 9, 2007 FOIA request.

    Judicial Watch has posted links to the adverse event reports below and continues to monitor VAERS reports submitted to the FDA in relation to Gardasil.

    The case was closed in April 2010.

    Special Reports

    Documents Uncovered

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @07:14PM (#37838558) Homepage Journal

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/19/cbsnews_investigates/main5253431.shtml [cbsnews.com]

    (CBS News) Amid questions about the safety of the HPV vaccine Gardasil one of the lead researchers for the Merck drug is speaking out about its risks, benefits and aggressive marketing.

    Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Dr. Harper helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published, scholarly papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. It's highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved.

    Dr. Harper joins a number of consumer watchdogs, vaccine safety advocates, and parents who question the vaccine's risk-versus-benefit profile. She says data available for Gardasil shows that it lasts five years; there is no data showing that it remains effective beyond five years.

    This raises questions about the CDC's recommendation that the series of shots be given to girls as young as 11-years old. "If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... we've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit," says Dr. Harper. "The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated." She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings.

    Dr. Scott Ratner and his wife, who's also a physician, expressed similar concerns as Dr. Harper in an interview with CBS News last year. One of their teenage daughters became severely ill after her first dose of Gardasil. Dr. Ratner says she'd have been better off getting cervical cancer than the vaccination. "My daughter went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis. I've had to ask myself why I let my eldest of three daughters get an unproven vaccine against a few strains of a nonlethal virus that can be dealt with in more effective ways."

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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