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Act Up, where are you?

Today, when the Board of Health meets at city hall, on the agenda is a report recommending that the city ask Queen’s Park include the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine as a publicly-funded service for females aged 9 through 26. Excellent news. Now: what about men? More specifically, what about gay men?

A few lurid details to explain the issue: HPV is spread by unprotected sex and produces both genital and anal warts. It also leads to cervical cancer in women, which is why the vaccine is being recommended for public funding. It also leads to anal cancer, in both women and men, if that’s where the fun’s to be had. One study, which dates back a couple of years, found that 95% of HIV-positive gay men had HPV, and 50% of them had precancerous symptoms—not a fun thing to find out when your immune system has already given up the ghost. In the UK the gay community is all over this issue. Time for ours to raise a fuss.

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