A good news tale of two diseasesBMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2962 (Published 08 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2962
All rapid responses
Dear Dr Godlee
Thank you so much for your article about HPV vaccination for boys/young men. I am an Infectious Diseases/GIM StR in Leicester (and have also been recently appointed to the BMJ Case Reports Editorial Board), and was recently at the Annual British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference where this subject was talked about.
The point was made about potential issues around vaccinating/offering the vaccine to "young gay men" (however one might find them), saying it would cause a huge controversy in the press by way of being seen to be "discriminatory" against gay male population. I pumped my question into my hand held device, but it didn't get taken up by the desk: "How is it not discriminatory to NOT give them the vaccine?!" Surely anywhere in our Healthcare system where we're effectively saying "you can't have this because of your sexuality" is something to be on the look out for? We also know that the population of MSMs as a whole are at increased risk of HPV-linked disease.
I like the Australian idea of vaccinating ALL boys at 12/13 years of age, as, clearly if there are any side-effects we are already exposing females to those, but it avoids the issues of fear of the press as well as doubling up the coverage for "heterosexual herd immunity", and also gets around the problem of how to "track down" this particular cohort of young males.
Infectious Diseases/GIM Registrar
Competing interests: No competing interests