HPV for Boys Doesn’t Solve Problem, Says Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The CDC has added still another vaccine to the recommended list: three doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil) for boys age 11-12. HPV causes genital warts, and four of about 100 strains have been linked to cancer, especially cervical cancer in women.
Controversy over Governor Rick Perry’s effort to mandate the vaccine for sixth-grade girls spilled into the Presidential campaign when he was criticized by Michele Bachmann.
The CDC’s decision was praised by Dr. Gilbert Ross of the American Council on Science and Health, who said that “gender parity is necessary here.” Men transmit the virus to women and can get anal cancer from it. The recommendation “also serves to equalize the burden of vaccination to not just one gender,” stated Dr. Joel Palefsky of the Anal Neoplasia Clinic at the University of California at San Francisco.
Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News’s Healthy Living noted that HPV is also linked to 8,000 cases of oral cancer per year. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/cdc-young-boys-hpv-vaccine/story?id=14809196
More than half of sexually active adults become infected with HPV, and the incidence increased four-fold between 1974 and 2000. It is recommended to give the vaccine before sexual activity starts. When asked how long protection lasts, Besser said it looks good for up to 6 years.
He disagrees with parental concerns that giving the vaccine to 11-year-olds means condoning early sexual activity.
Fearing political backlash, most states have avoided mandating this vaccine, but California recently passed a law allowing 12-year-olds to receive Gardasil without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
“The statistics on HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases are alarming,” stated Jane M. Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. “But vaccinating children does not begin to protect them against the dangers of promiscuity.”
AIDS, infertility, abortions with their emotional and physical consequences, family breakdown, infection of babies with syphilis or herpes, and the psychological havoc caused by the “hook-up” culture are not vaccine-preventable.
“If we had a 90 percent effective filter on cigarettes, plus a vaccine that we thought prevented some types of tobacco-induced cancer, would we feature that vaccine on a ‘healthy living’ program?” Dr. Orient asked. “Or would we stop advising smokers of tobacco dangers as we’re now supposed to do on every visit?”
“If we knew a swimming pool was heavily contaminated, would we buy our children wet suits in case they decided to go swimming anyway?” asked AAPS president Alieta Eck, M.D., an internist.
AAPS opposes vaccine mandates, stating that patients, or the parents of minor children, should make an informed, voluntary decision about vaccines, as well as other medical treatments. Physicians should advise patients about the risks and benefits of treatments, based on the individual patient’s circumstances.
AAPS, a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, (www.aapsonline.org) was founded in 1943 to defend the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship.
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
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SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)