Experts debate HPV vaccine for males

Federal vaccine advisors began deciding on October 28 whether or not two vaccines that protect against sexually transmitted diseases that can cause genital warts and cancers should be used widely in boys and young men.

The advisors must decide whether vaccinating males against the human papillomavirus is worth the risk of diverting scarce resources from a vaccination campaign for girls that has demonstrated poor results, according to

Others have already been debating whether it is even worth the expense to try and prevent genital warts in men caused by HPV. Dr. Franklyn Judson, a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and a University of Colorado professor, said that men did not care much about genital warts.

"In fact, 50 percent of patients who end up being diagnosed in an STD clinic didn't even notice them or were not overly concerned about them," Judson said, according to

Dr. James Turner a liaison to the committee from the American College Health Association, disagreed, saying that no man in the room would agree that genital warts were of little concern.

"I would say that the men that I see would rate genital warts on the quality scale just above death," Turner said, according to

A study presented to the government advisory committee suggested that when the vaccination rate in women is as low as it is now, vaccinating men may not be as effective as bolstering the campaign to vaccinate women.

So far, less than one percent of men in the country have been vaccinated against HPV. That number increases to 15 percent on college campuses.