Headlines: At the week’s end

A re-cap of the last week at InterstateQ.com and around the blogosphere.

OutGayLife.com, a website network based in Bloomington and Edina, Minn., was caught red-handed stealing copyrighted content from several LGBT blogs and news publications, as well as from mainstream media outlets and The Associated Press. (Jan. 5-6, InterstateQ.com)

InterstateQ.com reader Paul McNeal contributed two guest pieces. Shift in progress and Inside Look…DADT. (Jan. 6 and 11, InterstateQ.com)

Gay exotic dancer Devon Hunter related his story of an inhospitable Gay Atlanta. (Jan. 6, DevonHunter.info)

Merck is looking to get boy-friendly approval for its Gardasil. (Jan. 7, InterstateQ.com)

Pam’s House Blend goes down. (Jan. 7, Q-Notes)

Gay grant will benefit play documenting 1996 Charlotte culture wars. (Jan. 7, Q-Notes)

Gay media ignores real gay Boy Scout issues. (Jan. 8, InterstateQ.com)

Gay activist takes issue with eSpin.com “anti-gay” Founding Father comments. (Jan. 9, InterstateQ.com)

N.C. fundamentalists’ much ado about nothing. (Jan. 10, InterstateQ.com)

Q-Notes asks reader feedback on gay prisoner’s writings. (Jan. 10, Q-Notes)

Hagan will keynote HRC Carolinas Gala. (Jan. 10, Q-Notes)


Merck seeks Gardasil approval for boys

Reports yesterday noted that drug company Merck will be approaching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to get approval for the use of Gardasil in boys.

The Associated Press reported:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has two months to decide whether the application for use in males meets its standards. Reviews can then take 10 months or more.

The application includes research data from a Merck study including about 4,000 males, ages 16 to 26; Gardasil prevented 90 percent of cases of penile cancer and genital warts caused by the four common virus strains targeted by the vaccine.

The agency approved use of Gardasil in females ages 9 to 26 years old in June 2006, but last June rejected expanding that to include women ages 27 to 45. The vaccine has since been approved for use by young women in dozens of foreign countries.

And why is this important, especially for gay, bi and MSM male youth? The CDC says (emphasis mine):

Other HPV-related cancers are much less common than cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, there will be:

  • 3,460 women diagnosed with vulvar cancer;
  • 2,210 women diagnosed with vaginal and other female genital cancers;
  • 1,250 men diagnosed with penile and other male genital cancers;and
  • 3,050 women and 2,020 men diagnosed with anal cancer.

Certain populations may be at higher risk for HPV-related cancers, such as gay and bisexual men, and individuals with weak immune systems (including those who have HIV/AIDS).

I hope the FDA doesn’t drag its feet and I hope new tests and trials will extend Gardasil’s effective use in boys to a similar age range as girls (9-26 years old). There’s no reason whatsoever to keep an effective, preventative drug off the market if we know it will help keep young men safe.

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