Will Gov. Perry's Cancer Concern Extend to Queer Boys?

HPV vaccine Gardasil may prevent some anal cancers

Merck's HPV vaccine, Gardasil
Merck's HPV vaccine, Gardasil

Remember Gov. Rick Perry's big campaign a couple years ago to make HPV vaccine Gardasil mandatory for sixth-grade Texas girls?

Perry's grand gesture to protect our Texas girls from cervical cancer, surprise surprise, turned out to be a little more complicated in light of his close relationship with Merck, the manufacturer of the vaccine. And it turned out to be a hard sell to Perry's base, whose heads tend to explode when they're asked to contemplate the sex lives of children. Liberals, mothers, doctors – the very people you might expect would be natural allies in a campaign to prevent cancer in children – freaked out, and the whole thing eventually went away.

At the time, I remember wondering why all the focus was on girls, when boys are susceptible to the HPV virus as well. At the time, test data was only available for girls. But last fall results started coming in showing that the drug also worked for boys, and now testing indicates that the vaccine is effective in preventing anal cancer in men who have sex with men.

Not least among the tricky aspects of this issue is the fact that kids have to be vaccinated before they're sexually active. People were touchy about this even when it was just regular heterosexual girls we were talking about. But does Perry care enough about Texas kids to recommend the HPV vaccine for boys who might just grow up and acquire a taste for butt-fucking?

(Hat tip to Box Turtle Bulletin.)

READ MORE
More Healthcare
Coalition to Advocate for Increased Family Planning Funding
Coalition to Advocate for Increased Family Planning Funding
Full funding will increase state savings

Jordan Smith, Jan. 25, 2013

Special Bills for a Special Session
Special Bills for a Special Session
UPDATE: Measures mix unfinished business, new ideas, grandstanding

Richard Whittaker, May 31, 2011

More Politics
Fish or Gay Bait
Fish or Gay Bait
Response to D6 candidate Matt Stillwell's least-common-Dem politics

Kate X Messer, Nov. 3, 2014

Frito Pie Surprise!
Frito Pie Surprise!
What's a nice candidate for governor like you doing in a place like this?

Kate X Messer, Oct. 7, 2013

More by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer
Long Live QueerBomb!
Long Live QueerBomb!
QueerBomb commemorates riotous beginnings of gay rights movement.

June 9, 2010

A Queer Renaissance in Austin?
A Queer Renaissance in Austin?
AGLIFF's new mission and upstart QueerBomb

June 3, 2010

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Healthcare, Politics, HPV vaccine, Merck, Gardasil, Rick Perry, anal cancer, gay kids

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)