Males should get HPV vaccine too, study says
May 18th, 2011
07:15 AM ET

Males should get HPV vaccine too, study says

Men also carry the human papillomavirus, the virus that can lead to male cancers and genital warts.  And they could spread HPV to their sexual partners, putting those people at risk for cervical cancer.

So the HPV vaccine, that is often recommended for girls, should extend to boys as well, say researchers from Innsbruck Medical University in Austria. Their study was presented at the meeting of the American Urological Association on Tuesday.

The HPV vaccine is recommended for women age 26 or younger, to prevent genital warts and to reduce risk of cervical cancer.  The FDA approved the first HPV vaccine, Gardasil, back in 2006.

Although the vaccine has been approved for males since 2009, it hasn’t been as  heavily promoted for them.  The vaccine could help men  prevent genital warts as well as penile and anal cancers.

In the study, Dr. Michael Ladurner Rennau and his colleagues tested 133 men, between 7 months to 82 years old for the presence of HPV, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. They used DNA extraction.  They found  18.8% of the examined foreskins had the low-risk HPV genotypes and 9.77% had the high-risk HPV.

None of the patients had clinical symptoms of HPV.

In the absence of symptoms, this suggests that “Not only girls, but boys should be vaccinated because of these findings,” said Rennau.

More than 100 varieties of HPV exist. Even patients who don’t have sexual contact may contract the virus through exposure to bodily fluids. Some types of HPV infection cause plantar warts on the feet, while others are responsible for the warts that appear on a person's hands or face.

“From a public health perspective, the important implication is to show that HPV infection is very common - even in patients with no clinical symptoms.  It supports the argument that we should consider vaccinating both boys and girls to prevent future health problems,” said Dr. Tomas Griebling, vice chair of the urology department at the University of Kansas.

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Dr.N

    I have always thought that all people should receive the vaccine. Men are the silent carriers of viruses/bacteria that infect women- period.

    May 18, 2011 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Concerned

      I agree, as a man I have seen friends with HPV. They have no signs of infection, no issues and alwats practiced safe actions. Yet, more men catch it and then spread it unknowingly. Women too spread this unknowingly but there is more awareness of it.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
    • jbbbb

      I also agree, I was with my partner for 6 years and it turns out that he had this since before we were together and now I am undergoing my 2nd opinion/biopsy and will soon be going through a LEEP biopsy and surgery, all of which I have to pay for because of our awesome healthcare and none of which I can afford. Also, I am 25 and this will reduce my chances of being able to have children. Awesome.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  2. E.J.

    And how much did the pharmaceutical companies pay to have this garbage published?

    May 18, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kate

      Probably a whole lot. However, who else is going to pay for research studies?

      If it weren't for the pharma companies, there wouldn't be too many advances in treatment for ANY condition.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • Pharma

      How true, and since 20% of the US population is on anti-depressants and now they want to turn their money machine into vaccinating more young kids. The truth is now coming out about statin drugs where the side effects are worse their the cure and their is no basis for prevention. The statin blocks co-enzyme Q which provides oxygen to muscles. Heart muscle??? Some pharma is good, but the majority is just to make a buck.

      May 18, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
  3. Fuyuko

    Very true. One of my close friends got this from her ex who was a carrier. She now has this disease too.

    May 18, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mom_Of_16_Yr_Old_Boy

    I agree all should be vaccinated. We made the decision to have our 16-yr old son vaccinated in January, he has so far received 2 out of the 3 required doses. What would be nice, now that we have a study to support it's benefits, is if the insurance company would refund our expenses incurred for the vaccine (we've paid the $300/per dose since insurance doesn't cover it for males) and include it in the list of covered vaccines for all. If insurance won't cover it, most males will likely NOT get it...and I can't really blame most people when it's ~$900 ($300/per shot and 3 shots are needed).

    May 18, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ricardo

    men are one-half of the equation.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bucktooth

    The vaccines are the problem!

    May 18, 2011 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mom of 1


      May 18, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      er no. Cite your sources please.

      May 18, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • Emvaz

      Its common knowledge...many vaccines use thimerosol, a mercury-based preservative. Mercury is proven to cause neural deterioration.

      May 18, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
    • A scientist

      Emvaz: It is also common knowledge that mercury was removed from almost all vaccines (including the HPV vaccine) years ago. The one prominent exception is the multi-dose flu vaccine, but even this one can be requested without mercury. If patients are proactive, they can easily get the full complement of vaccines without getting any mercury-containing ones.

      May 18, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  7. A Father

    92 children have been killed by the Gardasil vaccine so far. This article is an irresponsible lie!

    May 18, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jack

      Please post links to facts when you say stuff like this please.

      May 18, 2011 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Hopefully your kid isn't one of these


      Bad news when the pharmaceutical industry thinks losing a few kids is okay.

      May 18, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • kdw31

      Unless there have been significantly more deaths since the link I provide was written, your full of it. Also you are aware that any death that happens within 15 days of a vaccination is reported as an adverse event. In the drug trial the primary cause of death following vaccination was motor vehicle accident and the second was suicide. I highly doubt that has anything to do with getting a vaccination. You need to learn to read and seek out information before you spout off things as facts.

      May 18, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • Mom of 1

      @A Father, thanks for putting the truth out there!

      May 18, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • A scientist

      With any medication, people need to do a cost/benefit analysis. Every medication has a risk of adverse side effects, so the question is whether, on a whole, the medication does more harm or good.

      According to the CDC, in the five years since Gardasil was approved, 53 people have died shortly after vaccination (out of 33 million doses); as kdw31 pointed out, many of these deaths were very clearly not linked to the vaccine, and the CDC thus far has concluded that no evidence points to the vaccines as the cause of death.

      Regardless, even if all 53 deaths (over 5 years) were due to the vaccine, cervical cancer kills approximately 4000 people per year in the US, so for females the risk of the vaccine does not even compare to the risk of the disease that it prevents. For males, the math is obviously very different; in this case, the question is whether the tiny possible (unproven) risk of the vaccine outweighs the benefits of reducing the risk of genital warts and reducing the chances of causing cervical cancer in future partners.

      May 18, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • Emvaz

      Death isn't the only possible adverse side effect to vaccination. While death is rare, I would be more concerned with the effect the mercury is having on the brain, which can easily cause many degenerative neurological disorders

      May 18, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
    • A scientist

      Emvaz: If your concern is mercury, you will be relieved to know that the HPV vaccine does not contain mercury.

      And yes, there are rare adverse side effects other than death from the vaccine, but of course there are risks of cervical cancer and genital warts other than death also.

      May 18, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
  8. Pam Jackson

    There also needs to be AN HPV TEST FOR MEN! Its 2011, and there is still NO HPV test for males. Its like not having an HIV AIDS test for males-its absurd!
    Men carry this disease to women, who in turn get cervical cancer and hysterectomies–Its an outrage.
    Make an HPV Test for Males dammit!!

    There are too many stories of innocent wives & girlfriends who had to get hyesterctomies after their husbands bought home a deadly strain of HPV. An anyone who argues that an HPV for males in not needed is downright evil.

    May 18, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. worry

    Its true about a man carrying the HPV virous.I actually cried when I found out I contracted it from a former boyfriend.Now I have to have a pap done once a yr to see if the cells have not changed.

    May 18, 2011 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • reality

      And where do you think he got HPV? Your post seems to imply a deliberate act. Obviously HE contracted HPV from someone else most likely a WOMEN. Fortunately for YOU there is a LOT of money being spent on WOMENS HEALTH so if your the same age your likely to outlive him by nearly a decade while consuming 175% more healthcare dollars.

      May 18, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • Cathy W

      You should be getting a pap once a year ANYWAY.

      May 18, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  10. kevin

    Or here's a novel thought....Simply stop screwing anything with a pulse that holds still long enough. I'm just sayin....

    May 18, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Garbosmed

    Dumbest vaccine ever. Clinical trials showed the vax actually raises the risk of cancer in those who already have the HPV virus, but kids aren't tested for the virus before they are given the vax. Not to mention the dead girls. And the highly neurotoxic aluminum. But hey, as long as Merck and Glaxo are keeping the shareholders happy, and they keep advertising, regulators and media will continue to glance away as they drive by this car wreck.

    May 18, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Topo Gigio

    Gov. Rick Perry (TX) will tell you that every living organism should be vaccinated for HPV. Well, he is a major shareholder in the company that manufactures it, but don't let that alter your decision. Get vaccinated and start your mutations today!

    May 18, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Not Phil

    Quick question: the HPV vaccine would be a vaccine. I know this sounds redundant, but think about the definition of vaccine. A vaccine prevents a person from contracting the disease. While a male can carry it on his skin, he never actually contracts the ailment. Therefore the vaccine will have no effect, since the immune system does attack particles on the skin. Therefore he will still be carrying the virus on his skin. Therefore he will still infect anyone he would have otherwise infected.

    QED: HPV vaccine for males is pointless. (If you are still confused, consider the theoretic vaccine against pasta sauce stains. There is no possible gain.)

    May 18, 2011 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Al

      You're not understanding what it means for men to be carriers. The HPV vaccine prevents infection with the HPV. Just because most men have know symptoms, it does not mean they are not infected. If they're not infected, they're not carries.

      May 20, 2011 at 02:25 | Report abuse |
  14. Dwmom

    Comparing 53 (theoretical) vaccine deaths to 4000 cervical cancer deaths is comparing apples to oranges. Women who get annual paps will not die from cervical cancer. Women who get vaccines are likely those who see doctors or visit clinics regularly, therefore they're among the ones who get regular paps and wouldn't have died anyway!

    May 18, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Cass

    That vaccine hurt like heck when I took it, I'm perfectly fine with my partner sharing in the misery :-p

    May 19, 2011 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Al

    I'm surprised you never see oral/respiratory HPV infection mentioned. Look up RRP or Pulmonary Pappillomatosis...suddenly the vaccine doesn't look so bad. HPV16 is also the leading cause of head and neck cancer. Cervical cancer is definitely not the worst disease that HPV causes.

    May 20, 2011 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. hloving

    I agree that there are men have HPV but no symptoms.And vaccine sometime have no efficacy.And I think the good way to prevent it is learn some basic hpv knowledge about HPV transmission,symptoms and so on.

    --If you got HPV,"H LOVING, COM"will be your Friends Support !

    May 22, 2011 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. MinorityView

    The article mentions that there are at least 100 varieties of HPV and Gardasil covers 4. There is nothing to prevent the less common varieties moving into the open space created by the vaccine (known as serotype replacement) leaving us right where we started.

    When calculating the rate of adverse reactions, doses distributed is not the same as doses administered. Plus, each person gets three doses, so the chance of an adverse reaction in an individual is much higher than the comparison used allows.

    Gardasil contains a lot of aluminum. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21765404

    The clinical trials for Gardasil used a placebo which contained just as much aluminum as the vaccine. There were only 300 participants who received a true, inert, placebo. The 300 were considered separately for minor reactions and mixed into the larger group for major reactions.

    Finally, thimerosal containing vaccines are administered to millions of babies worldwide every year. I guess they don't count because they live in poor countries and mostly have dark skin?

    August 1, 2011 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
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