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HPV vaccination for boys
pros and cons


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48 replies to this topic

#1 SMforshort

Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

Boys are now being offered the HPV vaccination.  The main benefit I have heard is that it will reduce the spread of this virus and decrease the rate of cervical cancer in women.

So what are the benefits for boys?  What are the risks?

Of course I would like to see fewer women being diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Like all of us I'd like to see all cancer eradicated.

But am I exposing my boys to a risk by giving them a vaccination that has no benefits for them?

My boys have had all the other recommended vaccinations and I am in no way anti-vaccination, I just want to do the right thing by my boys.

SM

#2 PatG

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:00 PM


Well, first of all there is the benefit to your boys of decreasing the risk that their wife/girlfriend/mother of your grandchildren will develop cervical cancer....

Secondly HPV is also linked to cancers which can affect males -  anal, penile and head and neck cancers (oropharyngeal cancers).

#3 alisona

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:09 PM

Some research also suggests a link between circumcision and HPV transmission.   This is NOT a post about circumcision - just a comment that if this research is true then with the decline in circumcision maybe the vaccine could help counter any increase in transmission of HPV.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2157...ncer-rates.html

#4 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

Hungry beast, the ABC program, did a great story about this a couple of years back, campaigning for boys to be included in the vaccination schedule. At that point, the only negative was cost (as it wasn't subsidised for males), but the advice then was that men should be getting the vax if at all possible.  

I haven't heard of any negative effects of the vax for men.  And stopping your son getting HPV is a pretty big plus.  It has links to cancer in men, too, though not strongly linked (at this stage).

#5 SMforshort

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:12 PM

By those two arguments, castrating him would protect women as well.  Who knows, he might be gay or end up entering a celebate religious order and not be a risk to women anyway.

I'm not saying I'm against it.

I just want to know what the risks/benefits are to him.

PatG, you mentioned higher rates of other cancers triggered by this virus.  How much higher are the rates of cancer?

And I still don't have any idea what the risks of this vaccination are.  Is it risk free?

SM

#6 PatG

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE (SMforshort @ 22/02/2013, 09:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
By those two arguments, castrating him would protect women as well.  Who knows, he might be gay or end up entering a celebate religious order and not be a risk to women anyway.

I'm not saying I'm against it.

I just want to know what the risks/benefits are to him.

PatG, you mentioned higher rates of other cancers triggered by this virus.  How much higher are the rates of cancer?

And I still don't have any idea what the risks of this vaccination are.  Is it risk free?

SM


I'm not sure what you mean by higher rates of other cancers?  I mentioned that HPV is linked to cancers other than cervical.  Perhaps you should ask your GP for some current literature or do some fact based research.  There is some info here from the US.  Among other things it says this "HPV types 16 and 18 have also been found to cause close to half of vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers ".  

As far as risk of the vaccine - the consent forms you would complete as a parent should outline the current understanding regarding risks.

Edited by PatG, 22 February 2013 - 09:23 PM.


#7 SMforshort

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

QUOTE (FluffyOscar @ 22/02/2013, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In the event your son is gay, then the risk will be to his male partner, and vice versa if the partner is not vaccinated.



So ask EB. Good idea  rolleyes.gif


So if my son is gay and he passes this virus onto a male partner, does it matter if there are no significant health risks to men from this virus?

As to why ask EB - I've had great help from EB members in the past who have helped me located information I've had trouble finding myself.

I find that vaccinations are a very devisive issue with people having strong (often opposing) views.  I will talk to my GP and I'm sure they'll have a strong view too.  Asking EB - I get lots of varied views and access to the knowledge of many intelligent women.  Why wouldn't I ask EB?

#8 April girl

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

QUOTE (PatG @ 22/02/2013, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, first of all there is the benefit to your boys of decreasing the risk that their wife/girlfriend/mother of your grandchildren will develop cervical cancer....

Secondly HPV is also linked to cancers which can affect males - anal, penile and head and neck cancers (oropharyngeal cancers).


Couldn't put it better myself PatG. I'll be getting my son immunised against HPV. To the PP re. circumscision - don't derail this thread FGS when it is important to get the word out about HPV vaccination in males.
To OP - if you have a daughter you would vaccinate against HPV I think you have your answer already.

#9 Helena Handbasket

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:27 PM

So protecting your child's future partner (regardless of their gender) isn't quite a good enough reason, and you are after more info.... Are you a bit bored tonight?



#10 alisona

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

Here is some info on how HPV effects males:

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm

and on HPV and cancer:

http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/cancer.html

And here's a site with stats about the vaccine's safety:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/hpv_faqs.html

I know they are all US sites not Australian but it's late and I'm sleepy...

I'm very pro-vaccination not just for the health of the individual being vaccinated but also for the good of the whole community - but maybe that is because I have an immune suppressed child!




#11 Paddlepop

Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:04 PM

QUOTE (SMforshort @ 22/02/2013, 09:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So if my son is gay and he passes this virus onto a male partner, does it matter if there are no significant health risks to men from this virus?

There are health risks to men from HPV: penile, anal and head and neck cancers. These locations are as a result of different types of sex ie anal, oral or vaginal, and they all involve a penis. They are relevent whether a man is straight or gay.

HPV also causes genital warts. They can be painful and embarrassing.

The only reason that the vaccine was initially only given to females was because of the cost-benefit relationship that could be demonstrated to the government. As time has progressed further clinical trials have been done on boys, and once again, the cost-benefit has been proven to the government for them to agree to fund it.

Risks of Gardasil vaccination can be found in the CMI leaflet located here:
http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/immune-sys...n-for-injection

Prof. Ian Frazer (co-inventor of Gardasil) vaccinated his own sons as soon as the vaccine was available.

Vaccinating both males and females will reduce the overall rate of HPV infection.

#12 Imaginary friend

Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

QUOTE
Also to reduce his risk of getting HPV (unless he intends using condoms for all sexual relationships if he becomes infected or discloses this fact). Having the virus may decrease his chance of getting laid.


Not by much it wont - up to 80% of sexually active persons have HPV infection at some stage. It is also usually asymptomatic.

Figure may well be decreasing of course as more people are vaccinated with Gardisil before they become sexually active but thats what it is at present.

#13 Illiterati

Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:47 PM

It would be great to eradicate the more harmful strains of the virus in the popularion (of which there are maybe hundreds) and those are the strains the vaccine targets - and vaccinating both genders would assist in that.

Who knows, given the risks of HPV - especially to women - a good question to ask a potential partner is : 'have you been vaccinated' . Condoms only partially protect as the virus is carried on the skin in the genital area rather than any body fluids etc.

#14 dsk72

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:04 AM

I personally know of a man who was diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV in his throat a few years ago.  Fortunately his symptoms were picked up pretty quickly and after an operation and 12 months of pretty intensive chemo, he is now clear of the cancer.  However this man has losts a lot of his taste senses and has virtually no saliva.  This may be a permanent result of his illness and subsequent treatment.  And he was a lucky one.

If I had boys, I'd definitely be considering having them vaccinated against the spread of HPV, just as my daughters will be.

In fact I heard tell from a nurse who used to work with one of the people who developed the vaccine, that the developer had his own sons vaccinated to prevent just these types of things happening to them.

Cheers

#15 Imaginary friend

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:29 AM

QUOTE (dsk72 @ 23/02/2013, 01:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In fact I heard tell from a nurse who used to work with one of the people who developed the vaccine, that the developer had his own sons vaccinated to prevent just these types of things happening to them.

Cheers

Yes this was mentioned up thread and yes is well documented fact.




#16 Imaginary friend

Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

Yes but most people with active HPV infection dont show symptoms - also Gardisil only protects agaisnt the strains of HPV most likely to cause cancer down the track, not against all strains - so vaccinated people can still develop genital warts.



Dont get me wrong, am all for HPV vaccination to help prevent all linked cancers - but its benifit is a long term one, not a short term one related to genital warts and the like.

#17 Froger

Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

I went and spoke to my GP about getting my teen boys vaccinated, as my ex at first refused for it to be done. While I could have of made the decision unilaterally, I didn't want to argue with my ex.

Anyway, while the GP wasn't that helpful (in that he didn't really talk of benefits), he did make it clear that it wasn't dangerous as such (as my ex had been busy reading all sorts of crazy websites purporting to tell the "truth" about the vaccine).

So anyway after discussing with the GP I went ahead and my teen boys had the vaccination (first one only so far - there are three). They didn't get any problems apart from a bit of a sore arm. However they were very worried about it, as their lunatic father had told them all sorts of stories. And the poor things actually wrotes their wills the night before they had the vaccination. Thanks all you internet conspiracy theory nutters! wacko.gif

Edited by SarahM72, 23 February 2013 - 09:13 AM.


#18 rosiebird

Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:46 AM

QUOTE (4kidlets @ 23/02/2013, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes but most people with active HPV infection dont show symptoms - also Gardisil only protects agaisnt the strains of HPV most likely to cause cancer down the track, not against all strains - so vaccinated people can still develop genital warts.



Dont get me wrong, am all for HPV vaccination to help prevent all linked cancers - but its benifit is a long term one, not a short term one related to genital warts and the like.


No, it also protects against the two most common strains that cause genital warts.

#19 DEVOCEAN

Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

If the situation were the other way around and girls could be vaccinated for something that could potentially stop my DS getting a disease, I would want them to do it.
So yes I would get my DS vaccinated.

#20 Maple Leaf

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

It would be lovely to eradicate as many strains of HPV as possible from the population.

I only have girls (who will be vaccinated), but I would vaccinate my boys if I had any!


#21 Feral_Pooks

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

Side effects are absolutely minimal. It's free. It will help eradicate some types of cancer. I chose to get mine done a few years ago. Will my son get it? It's a no-brainer.

#22 Sunny003

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

QUOTE
By those two arguments, castrating him would protect women as well. Who knows, he might be gay or end up entering a celebate religious order and not be a risk to women anyway.


What about rubella? All children, boys & girls are inured in rubella immunization. No different wink.gif

#23 Sif

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

The fact of the matter is, no one can tell you what the risks to your son may be long term because no such research has been done on the HPV vaccination either for boys or for girls. There may be no risks, but no one has researched this, so we don't know.

#24 purplekitty

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

Regarding the safety of HPV vaccination most recently;

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/...21001161442.htm

"A study of almost 200,000 young females who received the quadrivalent human papilloma virus (HPV4) vaccine found that immunization was associated only with same-day syncope (fainting) and skin infections in the two weeks after vaccination. These findings support the general safety of routine vaccination with HPV4 in a clinical care setting to prevent cervical and other genital and reproductive cancers."

"Dr. Klein outlined the study's strengths -- a large, ethnically diverse population who received a total of nearly 350,000 HPV4 doses; an integrated health care delivery system that assured complete or near-complete medical information; and a pre-specified, validated, clinically meaningful system to categorize all outcomes. However, she noted that ongoing monitoring of spontaneous reports and other sources such as the Vaccine Safety Datalink will further contribute to HPV4's safety profile."


#25 Maple Leaf

Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

QUOTE (Sif @ 23/02/2013, 01:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The fact of the matter is, no one can tell you what the risks to your son may be long term because no such research has been done on the HPV vaccination either for boys or for girls. There may be no risks, but no one has researched this, so we don't know.


This is true, BUT we do know the risks of HPV and how far reaching and potentially devastating it can be and how the aftereffects can last for years/lifetime.

*says someone who had their cervix sliced away and was lucky to have been able to have kids thanks to bloody HPV, if I could have had the vaccine, I would have without a second thought*

Edited by Maple Leaf, 23 February 2013 - 03:31 PM.





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