FDA Panel Says Yes to Keeping Little Gay Boys From Developing Anal Cancer As Sex-Crazed Adults

Back in February we were wondering whether the FDA was going to get behind a HPV vaccine for boys to prevent HPV-causing anal cancer, the same way it does for girls and cervical cancer. Good news!

The Food and Drug Administration advisory committee this week recommended the agency approve the vaccine Gardasil for use in boys to prevent them from developing some types of anal cancer. Why such a big deal? Because with the FDA’s seal — rather than a doctor using Gardasil for off-label use — insurance providers (and Medicare/Medicaid) are almost certain to cover the cost.

The evidence that Gardasil worked to prevent HPV transmission has been mounting for years, but the obvious controversy was about whether parents would want their little boys to get the vaccine, which is really only going to help those engaged in anal sex (and bottoms at that). But there’s no way to know if a boy is going to turn in to a homo or a hetero, so why not play is safe and vaccinate all boys?

While the FDA doesn’t have to accept the panel’s recommendations, it almost always does. Which means for the 5,000 anal cancer diagnoses in American men each year (90% of which are tied to HPV), might soon be on the way out. In a generation or two: HPV vaccines are only effective if you haven’t been exposed to the virus yet. Which means you’re either an 8-year-old boy or a 40-year-old virgin.

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  • edfu

    It is NOT true that the vaccine will help only those who are–or, rather, those who will become–bottoms in anal sex. All men can get HPV. All men can give HPV to their sex partners. All men can get cancer from HPV.

    HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact and can be transmitted anally not only by penile-anal contact but also by digital-anal and oral-anal contact. Gay men without a history of receptive anal intercourse can also have anal HPV infection.

    The sources of the HPV given to women are their male sexual contacts. If their male partners are free from HPV, women will not contract HPV and potential cervical and anal cancer. If all pre-pubescent boys received the vaccine, pre-pubescent girls would not have to be vaccinated.

    HPV can also cause penile cancer in straight, gay, and bi men.

  • j

    @edfu: Very informitive post, take note queerty! Thanks EDFU :)

  • robert in nyc

    And of course it seems the FDA isn’t aware that some straight girls who later in life have anal sex with their boyfriends, husbands are immune to anal cancer? Its never mentioned as if its confined only to gay and bisexual men.

  • customartist

    Since the vaccine was initially introduced, directed primarily at girls, I have wondered why boys too weren’t being vaccinated, as they were equally as succeptible to both carry and to transmit this disease, gay and anal aspects aside.

    This is like vaccinating half of the population for measles and not the other half.

    This vaccine should be mandatory.

  • Patrick

    @Eli: Um, Eli? According to the reference you cited, there have been roughly 500 serious reactions to the vaccine, total, and even that’s questionable as the illness may have been unrelated. Your source also says that about 8,000 American women get cervical cancer from this virus every year. The vaccine appears to be 100% effective at preventing infection. I may not be the world’s best with numbers, but it seems to me you’re taking a much bigger risk by not getting vaccinated.

  • Oh boy

    I think this is brilliant news.

    I wish I had received this vaccine as a youngster…and wish all the other gay men out there had as well.

    Besides anal cancer, I wouldn’t be surprised if HPV were linked to other conditions that have not been researched yet.

    In response to Robert in NYC, I think women should also be informed about the risks of anal cancer in relation to HPV in addition to cervical cancer.

    It is widely assumed that Farrah Fawcett’s battle with anal cancer was related to HPV. It was never mentioned in her documentary or in interviews because I do not think that people wanted her memory to be stigmatized, so I get it. At the same time, it could have really educated a lot of people.

    But gay men are certianly at risk. I am glad they will give this to boys.

  • Daniel

    I would emphasize (as already noted by others) that there are reports that the rate of oral cancers have been rising among straight, gay, women and men (doesn’t matter who you are or what position you prefer) and that there are now solid links between HPV and oral cancer:,8599,1619814,00.html

    I got the Gardasil vaccine when it still had to be requested for off-label use for men and I was older (one of the few virgin guys). Nothing bad happened, no reactions, no problems. I did read up on the very rare possible side-effects…which can happen with *any* kind of vaccine. The good outweighed the very low risks involved and I’m glad I did it. I wouldn’t want to push a vaccine on anyone but it is definitely something gay men in particular could be more informed about for their own health awareness.

  • Minako Aino

    @Oh boy:
    Not to worry there will be no need for stupidity of vaccines someday once this world ends. becuse nobody will being doing such sexual acts such using assholes as there personal pleasure….
    I realise Sexual things are BAD, really bad thing although its hard to move away from it once you seen it all ewww….

  • EvonCook

    Actually, two very highly respected doctors here in New York with much experience with the gay community, AIDS, etc. have voiced the opinion and strong conviction that this vaccination would help EVERYONE, even those already infected by HPV as the vaccination has the distinct effect of lessening the virulence or intensity of the HPV and the body’s reaction. This is in fact the case with a few rare vaccinations for other diseases. Took their advice and got the three shots even if insurance wouldn’t cover it for an adult. No bad reactions at all. Better safe than sorry.

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