Jun 22, 2007
Hi Dr. Frascino,
I noticed a post recently about Gardasil, and I had a follow-up question. I realize that there is some debate about whether gay men should get this vaccine, but isn't it true that the vaccine would only help those not already infected with HPV? I have read that some 80% of HIV+ gay men are also infected with HPV. (I have no idea whether this statistic is accurate.) So wouldn't I have to first be tested for the presence of HPV before considering whether to get these injections? It sounds like the vaccine would be a waste of time and money if I *already* have HPV. Or does this vaccine have therapeutic properties as well in those already infected? Basically I'm just confused about this whole thing and am looking for someone to clear all this up for me.
P.S. Your line in another post about Dubya not knowing when to pull out made me laugh out loud.
Response from Dr. Frascino
As it turns out, there are many variants of HPV, but only a few are associated with the subsequent development of cancer. The key question is whether vaccinating someone who may have been exposed to HPV, but not to the specific variants the vaccine is intended to prevent, will be effective. Time will tell. Stay tuned. We'll keep you posted as this story evolves.
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