When Gardasil, the vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus, came out six years ago, it was strongly marketed for girls, who were urged to get the inoculation prior to becoming sexually active in order to prevent the virus that can cause certain types of cervical cancers as well as genital warts.
Now, the HPV vaccine also is being recommended for boys, and some area parents are acting on that directive.
“Some are and some aren’t,” said Dr. Agnes Franz, a pediatrician at the Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers Fairmont Clinic.
“I’d say maybe 50 percent are receptive.”
While HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women, in can lead to anal and penile cancer in men, Franz noted.
“We’re generally starting between ages 11 and 12,” Franz said. “They are recommending it for young men up to age 26. You can give it up to age 26 but you can start at age 9. Most of us start at 11 or 12, ideally before a person becomes sexually active.”