Some men want girls' vaccine, too

February 23, 2007

Some British gay men want to be vaccinated with the drug approved to protect girls from cervical cancer, saying it could help them, too.

The BBC reported that many clinics are offering shots of Gardasil, which protects against the human papillomavirus, or HPV. One London clinic says it has given Gardasil vaccinations to dozens of men in the last six weeks, the BBC reported.

HPV can cause genital warts and anal and penile cancer, as well as cervical cancer, the BBC said.

"We've had a strong demand for it. I had a man come in for the vaccine this morning. He was 24. Then I have one this afternoon who is 67 years old," Dr. Sean Cumming of the private Freedom Health clinic told the BBC. "The motivation is to protect themselves and to prevent spreading HPV to their partners."

Those opposed to the shots say there is no point in vaccinating people who are already sexually active against HPV.

Merck, the drug's manufacturer, is conducting trials on Gardisan and adult men.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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