Stories about: lydia Shrier

HPV vaccination recommended for boys

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved recommendations for routine vaccination of males ages 11 and 12 against the Human papillomavirus (HPV.)

The HPV vaccine provide males with protection against certain HPV-related conditions and may also provide indirect protection of women by reducing transmission of HPV. Our own Dr. Claire was recently interviewed by New England Cable News to discuss the CDC’s new recommendation.

For more information on HPV and its vaccination, here’s a Q and A with Lydia Shrier, MD, MPH, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Division of Adolescent Medicine.

What is HPV?

HPV stands for Human papillomavirus. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which more than 30 are transmitted sexually—those are the ones most people are referencing when talking about HPV—and they can be separated into two types: low risk and high risk. Both can result in some form of genital disease, with the low risk-types typically leading to genital warts and minor abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. The high-risk types can lead to several forms of genital cancer, including cervical cancer.

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Is the HPV vaccine dangerous?

Did you watch the presidential debate on Monday? Michele Bachmann, in an attack on her opponent Rick Perry, criticized the Texas governor for mandating that young girls in his state get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

In her statement Bachmann said she objected to forcing people to receive the vaccine, in part because she feels it’s a “potentially very dangerous drug.”

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Her comments have raised eyebrows on both sides of the political fence, and raised questions in the minds of parents. To address these concerns Thriving spoke with Lydia Shrier, MD, MPH, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Division of Adolescent Medicine to get the facts on HPV and its vaccination.

What is HPV?

HPV stands for Human papillomavirus. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which more than 30 are transmitted sexually—those are the ones most people are referencing when talking about HPV—and they can be separated into two types: low risk and high risk. Both can result in some form of genital disease, with the low risk-types typically leading to genital warts and minor abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. The high-risk types can lead to several forms of genital cancer, including cervical cancer.

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Government endorses 'abstinence-plus' sex education

Almost half of all American teens have had sex. The federal government now endorses an abstinence-plus approach to sex education

Like stem cell research and abortion, federal funding for sex education is a controversial issue that has long divided public opinion. Up until recently, federal funding for sex education was allocated almost entirely to programs with an abstinence-only agenda, but new policies are breaking with that tradition.

Over the next 5 years, the government will be granting $75 million annually to sex education programs that adopt teaching methods proven to reduce sexual risk behavior and unplanned pregnancies. Most of the approved methods advocate “abstinence-plus” education, which emphasizes the benefits of abstinence while also teaching about contraception and disease-prevention techniques, including condoms.

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