Monday, February 12, 2007

Gardasil, Assumptions, and Men

I was speaking with someone this morning about the Gardasil vaccine, and she made a very interesting point. Everything around the vaccine is very heteronormative. There's an assumption that everyone is going to be straight! So vaccinate the women, protect them.

But what about the gay men? Anal cancer is caused by the same strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer, yet we don't see people flocking out to advocate vaccinating boys. Because there is an inherent undercurrent that the boys don't need it, they don't develop HPV-related cancers, only [straight] girls get that.

If we are going to act on the presumption that children will become sexually active when they're older, regardless of the morals their parents try to institute, shouldn't we also avoid the presumption of heterosexuality and vaccinate both genders equally, to confer to both protection?

While the vaccine is currently limited by the FDA to women, why are we not discussing the broader implications and potentials of vaccinating everyone?


Anonymous said...

Has anyone over the age of 26 attempted to receive the Gardasil vaccine but was told that you were too old and that no insurance company would cover you because your too old. I've attempted to contact Merck on several occassions but never receive a response. I guess they don't have an answer.

It's just frustrating because there are girls who don't even want the vaccine but it's regulated that they get it as one of their immunizations. I'm also frustrated because no one can answer my question as to who makes these decisions for the younger girls and why I can't pay my copay or go to the health department and receive it...i guess working full time and supporting yourself doesn't qualify. If the state were supporting me and I was on the streets shooting up then maybe i would qualify.

I was just concerned and interested if anyone else is as frustrated!

Anonymous said...

I too have attempted to get the vaccine and was told that I am too old. I am 28 and I find it frustrating as to why I am not covered by insurance for Gardasil. Mostly I am confused because I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Is it because it doesn't work on women over the age of 26 or is it because they think women over 26 should be married and have only one sexual partner for the rest of their lives? If it's the latter then I am truly offended but like you said, nobody will give you a straight answer. Grrr. I am in solidarity with you.