to your health

CDC Says Yes to HPV Vaccination for Boys. Bye Bye, Genital Warts!

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Weren’t we just wondering why Gardasil, the HPV vaccine approved for girls in 2006, wasn’t being given to boys despite evidence it could reduce genital warts? Well, now it might be!

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in boys and men ages 9 to 26 last week, yesterday the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said it would recommend the three-injection, $130 treatment for males. Note the CDC did not “urge” the medical community to do so — something it did with females.

We like the sound of this! Especially because, with an estimated 250,000 annual new cases of genital warts among men, and a prevention success rate of 89 percent, we might finally get some traction in keeping HPV from spreading among gay men (and, uh, those heteros too).

But there are critics. Namely, from inside the vaccine community, who say that while genital warts are a pain, they aren’t life threatening, and aren’t worth such a costly vaccination. But for anyone who’s ever experienced genital warts, we imagine they’d agree: It’s worth the cost.

What’s so significant about the CDC’s recommendation isn’t, necessarily, that pediatricians will begin vaccinating little boys, but that their call influences whether these treatments will be paid for under government healthcare plans