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Should Boys Shoulder the Burden, Too?


A weekend New York Times article is still on my mind. It alerted readers to the possibility of Gardasil — the much talked about HPV vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer — being administered to young boys as further protection for females. It's widely known that men can carry the virus without any knowledge of it, leading to easy and inadvertent exposure to their partners. According to the article:

By 2009, the vaccine could be approved for boys as well. Although Gardasil also protects against genital warts, which are not life threatening, the primary reason to extend approval to boys would be to slow the rates of cervical cancer. Public health folks charmlessly call this “herd immunity.”

While I have my own reservations about newly released vaccines and drugs, I find the idea of boys taking responsibility for sexually related concerns refreshing. What are your thoughts? Do you think boys should shoulder the burden, too?

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