Among HIV-negative gay men, the rate of anal cancer is “as high as cervical cancer in women before the introduction of Pap smears. And if you are HIV-positive, it’s about double that,” Chin-Hong said.
Should men routinely receive the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) that protects against cervical and anal cancers and warts? Those hoping for a clear answer will have to settle for something less, at least for now.
The federal Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil for use in women in 2006 to protect against four types of HPV that cause the vast majority of cancers and warts. It waited for completion of a trial in gay men to give the nod for that indication on October 16 of this year.
But a week later, on October 23, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee said Gardasil should not be added to the recommended list of vaccines for all pre-teens. That is important because the vaccine is most effective if it is given before one becomes sexually active.