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Mon 14th April 2008

Cervical Cancer Immunization

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 1:13 pm

FYI, my email today to the Auckland Women’s Health Council:

Dear Auckland Women’s Health Council

Your representative Linda Williams stated today in an interview on “Nine to Noon”, National Radio, that it would be “sexist” to immunize only girls against cervical cancer and that if girls were to be immunized then so should boys because they carried the virus associated with cervical cancer. She then raised many concerns about the risks of implementing vaccinations without enough knowledge about possible side effects, and the incomplete long-term follow-up data in the research used to advocate a roll-out of this vaccine.

Ms Williams acknowledged that boys do not suffer from cervical cancer, and admitted in a somewhat fudging manner that no research had been completed on the effect of the vaccine on boys.

Ms Williams’ position, presumably reflecting Health Council policy, is an appalling example of feminist attitudes to the welfare of males. To recommend that boys are automatically given a vaccine that girls might receive, that has never been shown to be effective in increasing boys’ resistance to the virus involved and the safety of which has never been established for boys, is callous in the extreme.

The broader reasoning, that boys should be immunized to protect women against a virus the boys might later carry, is not clear-cut. As male carriers presumably pick up the virus through sex with women, immunizing girls may well result in satisfactory control of that virus in the population and any increase in such control may be minuscule and nowhere near justifying the expense and additional risks of immunizing boys as well.

Further, the same reasoning could be used to require all girls to go on the contraception pill in order to protect men from unwanted fatherhood (and the high likelihood of state-enforced slavery to fund a woman’s lifestyle for 20 years or so with no reciprocal obligation).

I was impressed with the Council’s position on Herceptin, but sadly on this issue its inherent sexism and resentment towards males has predominated. Little more can be expected I suppose from an organization that describes itself as feminist.

Hans Laven
Tauranga

6 Responses to “Cervical Cancer Immunization”

  1. Allan Harvey says:

    Surely it is bordering on unethical for a nurse or other medical practitioner to immunise a boy when the immunisation has no chance of benefit to him personally and all the downside risks of vaccination.

  2. Allan Harvey says:

    I am informed that for years boys have been immunised against rubella for the exclusive benefit of pregnant women (and their unborn child who may have hearing affected by rubella exposure) they may come in contact with.
    My source says their is no benefit to the boy recieveing the immunisation at all.
    These days Rubella vaccination comes in the MMR Measles, Mumps and Rubella combo vaccine. It is impossible even if you wish to pay for the vaccinations to seperate this combo or to get it singly.
    The world of public health has gone PC mad!!!

  3. Alastair says:

    I have always understood one of the triggers of cerviacal cancer appeared to be females who had many different sexual partners. It appears to make as much sense as immunising females against prostrate cancer 🙂 I suggest that the Auckland womens health council is being somewhat precious suddenly adopting a stance of gender equality considering their normal biased health stance.

    As an aside – What is the position of the Auckland mens health council – or is it better not to ask?

  4. rosie says:

    Hey Alistair
    Don’t just blame the girls.
    The major risk factor for cervical cancer are multiple sex partners or a partner who has had multiple sex partners.
    It doesn’t pay to sleep around.
    I don’t think that’s a risk factor for prostate cancer tho.

  5. Alastair says:

    Hi Rosie,
    That was tongue in cheek. I have re-read my post and it would be clearer to say “Imunising males against cerviacil cancer, to me, made about as much sense as imunising females against prostrate cancer”

    Both are gender specific and scary diseases to that gender.

    I believe that a male, condom or not, who has many sex partners is also at risk of STD’s.

    It certainly doesn’t pay to sleep around, condom or not.

  6. Allan Harvey says:

    There is a paper on this topic in Best Practice April 2008.
    Dr Nikki Turner states “The added value of vaccinating males to attempt herd immunity is currently not clear. Mathematical modelling to date suggested there is little added advantage if HPV vaccination coverage in the female population exceeds 70%”. She cites Taira et el (2004) Evaluating human papilloma virus vaccination programs. from Emerg Infect Dis 2004(10): pages 1915-1923.

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