Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Drugs are sexist.

I had to ask my mom last night about my health insurance so I would know in time for a dr. appt Thursday. It will be my first gyn appointment in almost 4 years, my second ever. My mom goes "But you shouldn't have any reason for a gyn appointment, right?" Then she reminded me that I should probably look into "that vaccination".

Here is my conundrum: I hate the marketing for Gardasil. HATE it. This is a drug that prevents 4 most common types of HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease which means that anyone having sex is at risk for the virus. These 4 strains are responsible for 70% of cases of cervical cancer and 90% of cases of genital warts. They have also been linked to cancer of the penis. Clearly HPV is not gender specific. WHY then, is the vaccine to prevent it being marketed exclusively to women??? Girls, to be more specific (the vaccine is most effective before one is sexually active).

Gardasil ads market the drug as a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Certainly it may, but that's a fringe benefit. Really it prevents an STD. Which is still AWESOME. But why aren't we talking about it? Why aren't boys asked to take responsibility for safer sex and vaccinate themselves? Why is it that women are ALWAYS the ones asked to step up and protect not only themselves, but the entire society. Women are responsible for birth control, women are responsible for getting tested, women are responsible for the repercussions of unintended pregnancy AND, aparently, for the transmission of STDS. Newsflash: women don't transmit STDs by themselves.

What's more, Texas recently passed, and Massachusetts has introduced laws which would require middle school girls to get the vaccine. WHAT ABOUT BOYS!?!?! Why not - like every other vaccine - make the requirement universal???

Here's an equal opportunity for men to take personal responsibility for their sexuality! Here's an opportunity for men to step up and take charge of their lives and health and bodies, not to mention their future sexual partners. If you're having sex, or plan on having sex, it should be a priority to be protected in all ways possible!

Instead ladies, once again it's up to us.

I'll probably still get it.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I agree with you 100% on this one.

(I got my first shot yesterday)