Perhaps the main fear of the vaccine's opponents is that it might encourage adolescent promiscuity.
1. Should boys get the HPV vaccine?
Men rarely get cancer from HPV, but they do pass the virus to their female partners, and they do get genital warts from HPV as well. In Europe and the U.K., Gardasil is licensed for use in both boys and girls, although so far only Austria's public health program actually recommends vaccinations for both.
Older women and boys are in a similar situation, says Dr. Handsfield. "Women who get beyond their 20s are statistically at lower risk for HPV infection," he says, "so from a public-policy standpoint, it's not a priority." Also, since the research studies that led to Gardasil's approval were limited to the under-26 crowd, it's not FDA-approved for older women.
Yes! Experts agree that the vaccine does not replace the need for regular Pap smears, since it protects only against the strains of the virus that cause 70% of all cervical cancers. You'll still need to protect yourself from the rest with yearly screenings.