Facebook Pixel

Men Having Sex with Men and HPV

Rate This
Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

There have been numerous research studies done regarding MSM or men having sex with men when it comes to HPV and vaccination. These individuals have not all been gay men, many being bisexual and not all are positive for HIV disease. The disease of anal cancer however has been shown to continue to rise at a rate of 2 percent each year.

In 2009, the FDA approved Gardasil for use in boys and young men. Unlike girls however, they did not “recommend” that the vaccination be given only approved that it could be. This continued to focus the responsibility for vaccination on girls and young women. On November 2, 2011, the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Infectious Practices) finally changed this ruling making the vaccine recommended for both sexes. After all, where are women (and other men) contracting HPV?

In a prior study, “A total of 602 men, aged 16 to 26 and HIV negative at the time of enrollment, were randomized to receive three doses of quadrivalent HPV vaccine or placebo. Serum specimens for HPV serologic testing were obtained at baseline and at month 7; detailed anal examinations occurred at baseline and over the next 36 months.” The study showed not a single case of anal cancer but this was expected due to the young age of the participants.

Other studies including the ones which the FDA required of Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, in extending its protection against precancerous anal lesions and anal cancer, it found that the vaccine was 78 percent effective. These trials were specifically performed among MSM patients. Now, with this new ruling, hopefully we will see a drop not only in anal cancers, but in other various cancers as well.


"HPV Vaccine Beneficial in Men Who Have Sex with Men - Infectious Diseases." Infectious Diseases Journal Watch. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

"FDA Approves HPV Vaccine Gardasil to Prevent Anal Cancer - ABC News." ABCNews.com: Daily News, Breaking News and Video Broadcasts - ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.