As a follow-up story to an earlier post on HPV, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has finally officially recommended that both girls and boys be vaccinated against HPV.
The new recommendation will likely be met with significant controversy, as is par for the course, because many of the cancers that met become afflicted with due to the HPV virus, are more common among homosexual men. This fact will likely dissuade Republican politicians further against the vaccine, which they already do not endorse. The recommendation, however, may be in response to the recent findings that cases of throat and mouth cancers due to HPV will likely surpass cases of genital cancer by 2020 – suggesting that women and men are contracting the virus through oral sexual activity.
One of the more controversial parts of the vaccine is the fact that it is expensive, even compared to other regularly recommended vaccines. Health insurance companies have covered the vaccines after the CDC has recommended them for girls, so it will be interesting to see how they react to the new recommendations. As is suggested in a New York Times article from October 25, vaccinating homosexual boys would be most cost-effective, as they are much more affected by HPV and cases of anal and oral cancers are increasing most in the homosexual community. However, this suggestion is obviously suffused with controversy as well and could detract from the importance of greater use of the vaccinations. As has been true with the HPV vaccines from the beginning, one can hope, as does the medical community, that politicians will not use this amazing health development as a tool for healthcare, sexuality, or morality judgements. As a professor at Vanderbilt University said, “A vaccine against cancer was the dream of our youth.” Hopefully politicians understand how incredible the vaccines are and leave their rhetoric for other issues.