Saslow and Bonhomme said that beyond the direct health risks, there are other compelling reasons to extend HPV vaccinations to males.
For one thing, it would be simpler to vaccinate everyone than to have separate guidelines for boys and girls, Saslow said. There's also an argument for gender equity, in that only women are being vaccinated for a disease that affects both sexes, she added.
Another strong argument in favor of male HPV vaccination, Bonhomme said, is the fact that by only immunizing half the population, health officials are not attacking the problem with full force.
"Where are women getting the virus from?" he asked. "If you don't vaccinate the guys, then you aren't helping the women."
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more on HPV and genital warts.
A companion article offers a man's perspective on HPV.
SOURCES: Debbie Saslow, Ph.D., director, breast and gynecologic cancer programs, American Cancer Society; Jean Bonhomme, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, and president, National Black Men's Health Network; Tom Skinner, spokesman, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; March 2011, The Lancet
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