Why your boy might also need the HPV Vaccine
The Cabinet Secretary of Health Cecily Kariuki just flagged of the HPV vaccination project for school going girls aged 10years old.
This came after cervical cancer was considered as one of the cancers that kills many women in the country after breast cancer.
However it is important to note that HPV affects both men and women. Someone might have the virus but it remains doesn’t develop into cancer until many years have elapsed.
The HPV can be passed off from on person to the other through skin to skin contact of the genitals , oral, anal and vaginal sex.
There’s is no cure for the virus however, the symptoms can be treated or better prevented by receiving the HPV vaccine. This vaccine is administered at the age of 10-12 years to both boys and girls who are not sexually active.
Not all HPV virus strains causes cancer, some strains causes warts. One needs to consult a doctor if and when they spot warts in their genitals.
In men, the warts can appear on the scrotum, penis,anus and in the groins. They might clear off but develop into cancer later on in life.
Some of the cancers in men that have been linked to HPV includes;
- HPV might be responsible for more than 90 percent of cases of anal cancer, which affects 2,200 men each year.
- More than 60 percent of penile cancers start with HPV.
- Around 70 percent of people with oropharyngeal cancer, which occurs in the back of the throat, the base of the tongue, and tonsils, might have it due to HPV.
Compared to men who have sex with only women, men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to develop HPV-related anal cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Men who have a weakened immune system, due to HIV or other reasons, have a higher chance of developing HPV-related anal cancer than others. Men with HIV also tend to develop more severe genital warts that are harder to treat.
As we are vaccinating our girls, we should also pay attention to the boys. It takes two to tango so lets also vaccinate the boys.
Charline Carren is a blogger and an editor at Tech for Development. A trained Public Relations and communication specialist.
My passion for writing stems from the need to always provide solutions to peoples problems and sharing my opinion with my readers. I’m a proud content creator, communication and media strategies developer and a great public speaker.