A recent trend has been noted that some homosexual men are
requesting the new and already controversial “sex disease vaccine” (Gardasil)
which was designed and is being promoted to prevent female genital tract
(cervical) cancer caused by specific strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Nevertheless, because HPV also causes genital warts as well
as anal and penile cancer, the quoted men argue that the same jab (UK
terminology for injection) would ward against these. The problem is accentuated
by the fact that this medication is not available in NHS, and many private
clinics are offering it to men for double price.
Gardasil was launched in UK last year, mainly because it is
designed to be given to children before they become sexually active and become
exposed to HPV at the time of their first unprotected coital experience.
Gardasil has been licensed for boys and girls nine to 15 years and women aged
16 to 26. However, doctors can opt to give it to other individuals “off
license” if they wish. As men who have unprotected sex with other men are at a
much higher risk than average of anal cancer and genital warts, particularly if
they are HIV positive, this request seems reasonable at face value. However, at
present it is not clear how the concept will be embraced or rejected by the
medical establishment. Nor is it clear whether the homosexual advocacy groups
in other countries will support the idea. What is clear, however, is that the
end of the story is yet to be heard because in the next decade other such
vaccines will come to market.
With all good wishes,