The public health region has begun, in the recent past, to provide vaccines for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) (or would that be ‘provide vaccines against HPV’?). HPV is a communicable virus (duh, cenobyte. “Virus” is in the name.) that can be passed fairly easily through contact of the skin, specifically the mucous membranes (which are the squishy, damp, pleasant bits of your body…unless you don’t find bumholes pleasant. Although that doesn’t make bumholes *not* mucous membranes, just to be clear. They’re still mucous membranes even if you’re not fond of them). HPV is most commonly (but not always) spread by sexual contact to these areas. It causes all kinds of basically grody things to happen, including the growth of warts, and, more seriously, certain cancers (although, and here’s something I just read today, apparently the strain of HPV that causes genital warts (ugh; that’s a horrid and difficult condition to deal with) is not necessarily the one that causes cervical cancer).
HPV is probably the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world. It’s also one of the super fun ones that the use of condoms might not help prevent the spread of very much. Which is to say, because HPV can be spread by contact with any number of body parts, including tongue-on-tongue action, unless you’re licking the inside of a doob before you snog, that condom won’t help you. That being said, you should still use condoms because they protect against all kinds of other things, including babies (sometimes).
Anyway, here’s the reason for the lesson y’all. The health region, as I said, has begun immunizing against the strain of HPV that is known to cause cancer. Specifically, the strain that most commonly causes cervical cancer. But here’s the thing: they are only immunizing girls.
Some of you might be saying, ‘but cenobyte, if it’s linked to cervical cancer, the number of boys who are vulnerable to cervical cancer are very, very low, so…’ But I want you to think about that statement. A large number of girls do end up, at some point in their life, having sexual contact of some kind with boys. Now. *Wouldn’t it be nice* if those boys had been immunized against HPV when they were in grade six so that the chances of their contracting and passing on the virus was lessened? Wouldn’t that kind of make sense?
Especially when you consider that the strain of HPV that most commonly causes cervical cancer *also* causes cancers of the mouth, throat, bumhole (I know, I know, it’s ‘anus’. But ‘bumhole’ is much more fun to say), and penis, and is found in many forms of skin cancer…
Especially when the stats gurus (or “damned liars”, as Samuel Clemens would say) estimate that upwards of 85% of people who have more than one sexual relationship lasting for 3-4 months will contract some form of HPV…
We’re talking…okay, well, actually, *I* am talking about a vaccine that has been shown to reduce the chance of developing cancer. And while I applaud the fact that it’s been approved for use in school vaccination programs (not to no controversy, either. In addition to folks who think that vaccines cause aliens to communicate with you through the mercury used in the creation of the vaccine, which they also think causes autism, there are people who have problems with their children receiving a vaccine against a sexually-transmitted disease because *either* they choose to believe their precious children will not engage in premarital sexual activity, OR they have convinced themselves that even mentioning the word ‘sex’ will immediately cause their children to go out and have it. All of it. ALL OF THE SEX.), but I’m upset that it’s not offered to boys. And yes, I would be saying this even if I had girl children. Even if I had *no* children, for that matter.
If this vaccine can prevent my boys from contracting and spreading a virus, why shouldn’t they receive it?
Anyway, it’s just another one of those gender biases/gender inequity things that’s bugging me.