Gynecologist and Republican Party MP Katrin Kallsberg has rather curiously pointed out that she believes that the HPV-vaccine should be made available for boys as well as girls.
In a reader’s letter on Lesarin.fo, Ms. Kallsberg argues that this could prevent various types of cancers.
“The vaccine is currently available for Faroese girls of ages 12-27 for free, but boys still have to pay to be vaccinated. This could mean that only boys with wealthy parents get the treatment,” says Ms. Kallsberg.
Human Papillomavirus, HPV, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and it is usually harmless, but some types can lead to cancer. It is most commonly associated with cervical cancer and that is one of the reasons that the vaccine has so far only been offered to girls.
“However, men are also at risk of some diseases and types of cancer,” states Ms. Kallsberg.
When the vaccine was introduced it was said that men were protected because HPV is sexually transmitted, but Kallsberg points out that this puts homosexual boys at a larger risk. She also notes that girls would be more protected if boys were vaccinated because not all girls decide to take the vaccine.
Ms. Kallsberg adds that the vaccine will hopefully be offered to boys of ages 12-17 this summer. In Norway, boys and girls are offered the vaccine when they are in seventh grade. In Denmark they do not offer the vaccine to boys yet but according to Ms Kallsberg, they will expectedly start this autumn.
“Hopefully Faroese boys and their parents will welcome this vaccine,” concludes Ms. Kallsberg.