"Doctors use to think that this STD threatened only women, then the men started dying." - BlackDoctor.org.
The HPV (Human papilloma virus) vaccine for girls has caused widespread controversy and even stirred a heated exchange during one of the Republican presidential debates, where Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) slammed Texas governorfor mandating that girls in his state get the HPV vaccine.
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer and even death.
Supporters of the vaccine for girls as young as 9 say the benefits far outweigh any side effects that may show up down the road. Critics say we do not know enough about the new drug to give it to our young daughters. They also see it as encouraging preteen girls to have sex which supporters of the drug say is unwarranted.
Now BlackDoctor.org writes we may have another problem, one not talked about in the mainstream media: the connection between HPV and men. Until recently, men were thought to be safe from this particular STD, but new studies have proven this assumption wrong. Even more alarming, it shows that for almost two decades, this disease has been spreading among men, killing quietly.
Though the emphasis has been on girls and women, the vaccine is also available for boys age 9 to 20. I did not know this until I took my teen son to the doctor for his annual check-up. Which begs the question: Are parents and men as unaware as I was?
We know that men are less prone to vist the doctor, and new studies currently show that there is a rise in mouth, throat and neck cancers among this demographic. The reason? Oral sex.
Giving or receiving unprotected oral sex from an infected person can be detrimental to both men and women. Women have regular pap smears, but if men do not visit the doctor regularly, the virus may go undetected and therefore untreated.
Until recently, these cancers found primarily in smokers, were caused by tobacco in cigarettes, but not anymore.
Blackdoctors.org writes: "A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports there’s been a 225 percent uptick in HPV-positive oropharynx cancers since 1998, according to data from three U.S. cancer centers. The study also predicts that by 2020, oropharyngeal cancer will be the most common HPV-associated cancer in the U.S. surpassing cervical cancer."
To add to this problem, there is an alarming trend among teenagers where oral sex is said to be the "new goodnight kiss," so sex education is paramount for this age group. Both men and women also need to be vigilant, and women, when you go to the doctor, pencil in a date for your man as well. Then nag him until he goes. This is one area where being a nag is a very good thing.
Becoming pro-active, rather than waiting to be re-active is key so protect, protect, protect. I can't stress how essential this is and yes, there is protection for oral sex too. Women, use a condom on your man and men, use a dental dam on your woman. You can improvise with home -made plastic wraps but do not use the microwavable ones for they do not effectively do the trick.
Aimee R. Kreimer, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, writes this for Essence.com, "For oral sex, you need to use barrier methods—that means a condom on him. So if he doesn’t have one, send him to the corner store, pronto. And if he’s returning the oral sex favor (and he should!), he’ll need to use a dental dam or plastic wrap. Just don’t use microwavable wrap, which has very tiny holes that body fluids can leak through."
So continue to love your lover just be smart and safe when doing so and educate, educate, educate your teen and even preteen, both boys and girls.