The Anal Cancer Foundation led a coalition of eight organizations in submitting joint testimony to a hearing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 24th in support of routine HPV vaccination in males.
The Anal Cancer Foundation was joined in the letter by Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Project Inform, LGBT Cancer Network, National Cervical Cancer Coalition, the Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer, The Oral Cancer Foundation, and the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the federal agency focused on U.S. vaccine policy, is considering the expansion of the Gardasil vaccine to include the prevention of cancer and precancer in boys and men. The vaccine is already recommended for the prevention of cancer and precancer in girls and women.
Vaccination against HPV, a virus, is the best shot we have to prevent HPV-caused anal cancer and other HPV-related cancers; effective therapeutic options for those with advanced disease are limited and take years to develop.
The coalition argued in their testimony that the government routinely recommend the vaccine to males because the FDA has already recognized it’s effectiveness in preventing certain HPV-associated diseases, such as anal cancer, in men. Of course, vaccinating both the male and female population would mean a greater reduction in HPV-associated cancers in both genders. Unfortunately, current vaccination rates in the United States are low.