Ever since Gardasil, a vaccine developed to protect women against the human papillomavirus or HPV, was introduced in 1996, it has been increasingly recommended for females younger than 26.
However, the Centers for Disease Control has updated their guidelines to suggest that boys should also receive the HPV vaccination.
Here’s what parents and men should know about HPV vaccination and its benefits for boys.
How HPV Vaccination Benefits Boys, Too
What Is HPV?
HPV is a frequently diagnosed sexually transmitted infection. In many cases HPV causes genital warts and it may also cause cervical cancer. The virus may similarly cause other types of cancer, such as those affecting the penis, anus, vagina and throat. Both men and women may be HPV carriers.
Full HPV vaccination requires three shots over a period of about six months. Most of the commonly used HPV vaccination drugs are approved for use by people between the ages of 9 and 26. Doctors typically recommend that HPV vaccination be completed before an individual becomes sexually active.
Why Would Boys Need HPV Vaccination?
While much of the medical community’s focus has been on increasing the number of girls who receive HPV vaccination, there is a growing effort to ensure similar protection for boys. Specific HPV drugs protect both males and females from anal cancer and genital warts. They may also prevent boys from developing penis and throat cancers. Getting vaccinated may also mean that guys cannot pass HPV on to their sexual partners.
Making the Decision
Deciding whether or not to have a boy vaccinated against HPV might be easier after speaking with a primary care physician. HPV vaccines are fairly expensive and are not necessarily covered under all insurance plans. Accordingly, some parents of boys make the decision not to vaccinate. Nonetheless, considering the seriousness of the diseases that might be prevented through the HPV vaccination, it may be an expense that is worthwhile.
Protect Sexual Health With ARCpoint Labs
ARCpoint Labs nationwide can provide STD testing so individuals can best ensure their sexual health. While we do not provide HPV vaccination, we can provide comprehensive STD testing as well as information on various STDs.
To get started, visit your nearest ARCpoint Labs today!