Health officials urge males to get HPV vaccination too

Many people may think the HPV shot is only for females, but that is no longer the case.

Now males also are being encouraged to receive the vaccine for the human papilloma virus — the injection given to help prevent cervical cancer in females and genital warts in males.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said the vaccine can be given to males as early as age nine, CNN.com reported.

Up until now, the shot has been given to girls ages nine to 26 to prevent cervical cancer, but now doctors are encouraging males to also receive the shot to reduce the chance that the virus will be spread. The shot also prevents males from getting genital warts.

”It’s a good idea because that way we won’t get it at some point,” said Mandela Academy senior Jose Lopez.

Genital human papilloma virus transmission can happen with any kind of genital contact with someone who has HPV, not only through sexual intercourse.

There are about 100 different types of HPV and about 30 of them are sexually transmitted. The Gardasil HPV vaccine is the only shot available that helps prevents four types of HPV. The shot is given as three injections over six months. The shots don’t fully protect anyone against HPV, so precautions and vaccinations are urged, as stated in the Gardasil’s website at gardasil.com

Doctor Raul Gutierrez from the Tiger Clinic said that the vaccine has been “proven to be safe for both men and women.”

Some students, including Media Academy junior Jenny Saechao, agree that males should get the vaccine.

“It’s a good idea because it prevents it from happening more,” she said.

Media Academy freshman Gina Norn agrees.

“It’s not fair for girls to only get it (the vaccine),” she said. “Guys should too.”

According to Tiger Clinic health educator Katie Riemer, the clinic offers HPV shots for both boys and girls who make an appointment. The Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. but is closed for lunch.