Saturday, 21 January 2012

Discrimination with a HPV vaccine


Read this article about how the UK government is rethinking it's decision to only immunise girls against HPV.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/calls-to-immunise-teenage-boys-after-huge-rise-in-throat-cancer-6292679.html

When I read this article I obviously was encouraged that the government was even considering changing the policy. As a male SRE educator I have felt that the current system is deeply unfair ever since the BBC aired a documentary about this on BBC3. The logic of with holding a potentially life saving vaccine on the grounds of cost verges on the ridiculous. Now the body of evidence is growing and hopefully soon the problem will be resolved.

But even the original plan to immunise all girls to provide herd immunity seems to have a huge hole that in my opinion show discrimination at the state level. What about the male homosexual population?

Now when HPV was seen to be linked to cervical cancer it was also shown to be linked to penial and anal cancer. So they knew what risk they where taking. A community dogged for years with a reputation of higher STI rates was being intentionally exposed to a higher long term risk by being ignored by health providers. I can't help but see this as discrimination. It is impossible to believe that no one in the health department thought about this. So it must have been a deliberate choice.

The sooner this situation is sorted the better. All young men deserve the HPV vaccine to protect them from the cancerous threat both throat and genital. Also it will undoubtably speed up the herd immunity process and at the same time rebalance a blatant act of discrimination by policy.