Monday, October 10, 2011

HPV in Men?!

We are familiar with the debate, men health does not depend on getting the HPV vaccine because men don't suffer the pathogenetic effects of the virus. Women hae cervixes and women get cervix cancer caused by HPV. This teaching has been falsely used to argue that men don't need to get the HPV vaccine because they don't get sick from the virus.

Obviously this is a flawed argument because even if men didn't suffer the effects of the virus, they are carriers and pass it onto the female population. The only way to eradicate the disease would be to vaccinate all women and men! Not to mention the fact that this argument does not include men who have sex with men who can also be effected by the HPV.

However it is now being shown that heterosexual males are also at risk for diseases linked to HPV. On October 3rd The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a study that shows "More males may get throat cancer from having oral sex with women than from smoking as the result of a virus linked to the malignancy, a study suggests."

By looking at samples of throat tumors from the past 20 years, scientists have determined that the percentage of throat tumors linked to HPV have increased from 16% to 72% and that throat cancers from HPV predominantly effect men. They think that by 2020 HPV linked throat tumors will become more common that HPV linked cervical cancer and that there will be a large shift from affecting women to affecting men.

Elena Jordan

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