Malcolm by Bruce Perry

Malcolm by Bruce Perry

Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America

by Bruce Perry

Publisher: Station Hill Press; 1st Edition edition (26 Sept. 1991)

This huge book has 380 pages of text, 25 of introduction contents, and pictures of Malcolm X at the beginning and the end of his ministry as a Muslim minister, 128 pages of notes, eleven pages of bibliography, nine of people interviewed, two of acknowledgements, another 11 of index, a page of photographic acknowledgements, another pic of Malcolm reading, and lastly, eight glossy plates with 13 photographs.

An exhaustive biography you might think, but while we get the chronology of his life, Malcolm X, (born ‘Little’) is still an indistinct figure at the end.  This is possibly because he became a great speaker, but Perry reproduces rather little of his speeches, sermons, or debates.  Malcolm seems to have been the man who made the NOI (Nation of Islam), which was just another wacky American sect before he converted.  It was confined to the Chicago area until he took the East Coast in hand.

Malcom X Quote

The East Coast meant New York, with its enormous Black population centred on Harlem, but he opened mosques (called ‘temples’ by NOI) from New England down to Atlanta, Georgia.  He was also in charge of the temple in Los Angeles, on the West Coast.  Malcolm’s work made the leadership of NOI fabulously rich, especially ‘the Messenger, Elijah Muhammed’, and his family.  Malcolm helped set up the journal Muhammed Speaks, another money-spinner.

When he could no longer ignore the financial (and sexual) chicanery, Malcolm denounced it (he was straining against NOI’s political absence from the Civil Rights struggle).  The journal was used to traduce him, and openly called for his assassination.  This came on Sunday, February 21st, 1966 – the killers being acknowledged members of the Nation of Islam.

This book is of interest to the general reader, but, in Bruce Perry’s bibliography is found “Socarides, Charles W Homosexuality, J Aronson Inc, 1978 – yes Malcom ws ‘family’.  From his very early teens until his thirties, he engaged in homosex: at two different schools he got a name as a “sissy”, and also had, in effect, a ‘camp name’, Madame Harpy”.

In his teens and twenties he swung wildly from sissified unatheicism to extremes of violent physical endeavour: football, basketball, boxing.  In prison, even after his conversion, he liked to hang out with the athletes and bodybuilders.

Perry, quoting Socarides, gives us the old absent father and dominant mother business.  He does not mention hi slove of guns and big cars, in his criminal day, the Freudian, phallic implications are ignored.  So is his appalling attitude to women.  As a crook, he lived off them, and enjoyed screwing white women, and having them seen on his arm.  HIs wife, Betty Shabazz (a professional, before converting to the Nation of Islam) was treated distantly, even cruelly.  Admittedly, Malcolm’s attitudes began to change after he broke with Elijah Muhammed, and the NOI, and wasn’t much different from other men’s in the 1940s to ’60s period.

If Ravel can be recruited into the ‘family’ on the strength of one song, Malcolm surely can be on the strength of many years of dedicated homosexuality.

 

UK Government rejects changes that could support LGBT children

Westminster

 

No modern sex and relationship education

Today the UK Government failed to accept any of the recommendations made by the Education Select Committee on how to improve personal, social, health and economic education.

PSHE isn’t a complicated process. It teaches young people about sex and relationships, gender identity, LGBT issues and mental health and emotional wellbeing. All pretty essential topics we think you’ll agree.

The committee wanted “PSHE to be made compulsory in all schools and that compulsory guidance for schools – which currently dates back to 2000 – be updated ensuring PSHE is inclusive of same-sex relationships – the Government’s response failed to accept this.”

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, NAT (National AIDS Trust), says: “The Government’s refusal to give all young people in this country an equal access to information is creating a two-tier education system. Depending which school you happen to go to, you may or may not have access to good sex and relationships education and you may or may not learn how to protect yourself from getting HIV in real-life situations– this is a violation of the human rights of many young people.

“One in five people in the UK don’t know you can get HIV from sex without a condom. Our research found three-quarters of gay and bisexual young men don’t receive any information about same-sex relationships at school, at the same time new HIV diagnosis amongst this group have doubled over the past ten years. Sex education in the UK is not working and the Select Committee has reported it is getting worse. Only by making PSHE and SRE statutory and relevant to all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, will we start to address the shockingly low levels of understanding about HIV and see the static numbers of new HIV infections go down.”

You can read the full report of recommendations from the Education Select Committee here. And we will of course keep you updated as this story develops.

Image Harry Lawford Via Flikr
Words Josh Withey, @josh_withey

Top tips on LGBT-inclusive sex education

Fran Hall

 

LGBT young people too often miss out on vital information and support at school. Inclusive sex and relationships education (SRE) can help to remedy their isolation

All young people should have access to high quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) in school. But all too often this isn’t the case and LGBT young people are missing out on vital information, putting their emotional and physical wellbeing at risk.

More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people say they are not taught anything about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, suggests research by the University of Cambridge for Stonewall. Research by the National Union of Students earlier this year also found that less than a fifth of all university students were taught about LGBT issues in SRE at school.

Stonewall’s School Champions programme works with primary and secondary schools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and to support LGBT young people. Based on the many examples of good practice we’ve seen, here are some top tips on LGBT-inclusive SRE.

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t assume that all students are heterosexual or that there are no trans students in your class. Think carefully about the examples and language used when talking about relationships. Use gender neutral terms such as “partner” and embed examples of LGBT people and relationships. Be explicit in your school’s policy that SRE is there to prepare all students for the future, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ensure all young people learn about LGBT people and relationships

All students should learn about key concepts such as sexual orientation, gender identity and the difference between biological sex and gender. Embed positive examples of LGBT people and relationships and discuss relevant LGBT rights and equality (for example, that LGBT people can marry and have children). This ensures that all students understand the diversity of people and relationships in 21st century Britain and that young people who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity get the information they need.

Include information that is relevant to LGBT young people

Make sure you include specific information where relevant – for example, on sexual health or coming out. At the same time, avoid promoting the stereotype that all LGBT people have certain types of sex and relationships. The easiest way to do this is to talk about the similarities and differences there might be across different types of relationships.

A lot of the information that LGBT young people need to know will be the same as their heterosexual peers (what a healthy relationship looks like). Using LGBT examples will signal that the information you are giving is relevant to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and will help to tackle assumptions about LGBT people and relationships more generally.

Challenge gender stereotypes

Challenge these both in the content of SRE and in the way the lessons are delivered. Think carefully about whether to separate students by gender for SRE. Trans students or those questioning their gender identity may feel uncomfortable or miss out on vital information if classes and lesson content are divided (for example, a trans man who may need to know about cervical screening). If students are separated, deliver the same content across groups. All students will gain valuable information and skills by considering situations from the point of view of different genders.

Encourage students to understand and celebrate difference and diversity

SRE can be a great opportunity for discussion, for students to learn about difference and to develop respect and understanding towards others. This should include exploring and challenging stereotypes about LGBT people and feed into the school’s wider work on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. SRE is also the perfect opportunity to encourage every student to feel positive and confident about themselves.

Staff will need training, alongside an updated SRE policy to deliver effectively across these areas. As well as Stonewall’s resources and training, the Sex Education Forum and Gendered Intelligence and Allsorts Youth Project look specifically at LGBT relationships and sexual health.

Visit stonewall.org.uk/education for more information

http://schoolsweek.co.uk/top-tips-on-lgbt-inclusive-sex-education/

MIchael Stokes does our service men proud

The campaign made $50,000 in an hour.

The campaign made $50,000 in an hour.

People Are Shouting ‘Shut Up And Take My Money’ To This Amputee Veteran Kickstarter

One look look at a Michael Stokes’ photographs and you’ll understand why his Kickstarter has been such a success. The campaign, which is for Stokes’ art books “Exhibition” and “Always Loyal,” reached its $48,250 goal in an hour and change. Now think about how much you made in an hour at work today.

It’s not unusual for a Kickstarter to be funded quickly, but for one to make $50,000 this quickly isjust so very impressive. The campaign, which has only been up for two days, has reached over $134K, well ahead of its $48K goal. And there are still 18 days left on the campaign, so who knows how many books he’ll sell.

Stokes’ images (which get potentially NSFW down there) have power. And so do his subjects. One of the two books, “Always Loyal,” features amputee veterans in semi or completely nude photographs that not only show how fit they are, but the sacrifices they made for their country.

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Michael Stokes

Michael wasn’t even looking to make a book featuring wounded veterans. “I photographed a wounded veteran named Richard Rocco, who had no visible injuries — that was the first veteran that I photographed,” he told MTV News. “And from that, I start to get a following from people who follow wounded veterans. … Then one of my fans suggested Alex Minsky. He wasn’t really known.”

AlexMinsky-1436556517

After Michael posted the results of his shoot with Minsky, they went viral. Since then Minsky has had a lucrative modeling career, appearing in underwear ads and making appearances on “The View,” “Good Morning America” and late night talk shows.

Michael Stokes

It’s possible the same thing could happen for one these veterans who appear in the book. And, if you’re wondering whether any of the veterans felt self-conscious or anxious, the answer is no.

“Some people will say to me ’Oh, this is really helpful to their self-esteem,’ or, ’You’re making them feel like men again,’” Stokes said. “And I hear all these types of commentMs and the response I have to that is that these guys have come to me very healed and ready to take the world on. I’m not giving them back their confidence. They already have it.”

Michael Stokes’ Kickstarter runs until July 29, 2015.

 

http://www.mtv.com/news/2209944/amputee-veteran-book-kickstarter-michael-stokes/

The Incredible Moving Picturehouse arrives ahead of Liverpool Pride debut

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by Lilly Edwards. Published Sat 18 Jul 2015 06:04, last updated: 18/07/15

Liverpool Pride is proud to announce the Incredible Moving Picturehouse is driving into the city on Saturday 1st August as part of the official Pride programme.

The transforming cinema lorry will manoeuvre into Liverpool for its premiere visit, parking for the day on St Georges Plateau (St Georges Hall) where the March muster takes place, for a special programme of movies supported by Unison North West LGBT Group.

Roll up, roll up! Picturehouse puts the show on the road – literally. The UK’s only HGV-based mobile cinema screen – equipped with DCI digital projection, temperature control and 100 comfortable seats. The impressive 36 and a half tonnes of truck extends out to 55ft long, 22ft wide and 15ft tall and sits on 18 wheels.

The Incredible Moving Picturehouse can be seen transforming from an unassuming lorry to a spectacular one-of-a-kind mobile cinema on the promo link below.

Moving Picturehouse Truck and Trailer

The truck will screen four LGBT feature films – Hairspray, Pride, Soft Lad and Dressed as a Girl, running from 2pm to 10:30pm, tickets are £6 per screening and are now on sale. There will also be some very special guests in attendance.

Setting the tempo to start the day is cult film Hairspray (1988 – Cert 12) at 2pm. The musical with a civil rights heart stars household favourites Divine, Rikki Lake and Debbie Harry. The punchy film is about pleasantly plump teenager, Tracy Turnblad, who goes from TV dance contestant to teen hero when she takes on her rivals and their dodgy attitudes. Teaching 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration.

At 4pm is the inspirational true story, Pride (2014 – Cert 15), a film based on true events tells the touching story about U.K. gay activists who worked to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. With very special guests, LGSM co-founder Mike Jackson and fellow original member Gethin Roberts – the real people whose stories are told in the script, will be travelling from South Wales to introduce the film as well as doing a Q&A in the education area.

Next is the Liverpool Premiere of a new LGBT film set and made in Liverpool Soft Lad (2015 – Cert 15) at 6:30pm. A film about a young man involved in a love affair that changes his life forever, whilst his lover wrestles his demons on a journey that will force him to come to terms with his sexuality, leaving lives destroyed in the wake. Love, lust, sexuality and betrayal all play arts in this coming of age story. Special guest, Leon Lopez, in his directorial debut, will be introducing the film and taking a Q&A afterwards with cast members including Suzanne Collins.

Finally at 8:30pm, closing the Travelling Cinema is the new motion picture, Dressed as a Girl (2014 – Cert 18). Filmmaker Colin Rothbart pulls off the wigs, wipes off the mascara to unveil the real people behind the much hyped and talked about East London’s alternative drag scene. Filmed over five years, the film covers not only the rise and fall of this hugely popular gay club scene but also offers some personal, emotionally honest portraits of six individuals at the heart it. The movie will also be shown with short film Don’t Forget the Drag Queens by Jonathan Larkin and Ben Youdan, shot in Liverpool!

Soft Lad and Dressed As A Girl are part of Peccadillo’s POUT Summer Tour, Peccadillo Pictures is an award-winning* UK film distributor of Art House, Gay & Lesbian and World Cinema titles with an impressive collection of films from across the world. Launched in 2000, Peccadillo nurtures new and upcoming talent alongside established directors. In addition, Peccadillo Pictures also distributes short films and rereleases of classic titles.

Keep up to date with Liverpool Pride announcements by visiting www.liverpoolpride.co.uk, you can also register to volunteer or find out about sponsorship and funding opportunities.

You can now receive news from Liverpool and Merseyside direct to your social media feed by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We’re also on Instagram.

When Topless is Good

And now for some gratuitous topless flesh

 

GT Hunks

Our top topless superheroes

We’re celebrating Ant-Man scuttling into cinemas

Ant-Man is released in cinemas today and we’re already getting pretty swoony over Paul Rudd. But what would a big budget superhero flick like this be without a bit of shirtless action?

Nothing, that’s what. So to celebrate the occasion we’ve rounded up our top topless super-torsos.

Chris Evans does a mighty fine job of protecting the free world… And also looking FINE.

Thor or Phwoar? Both work for us. The oldest Hemsworth sets the hunk benchmark.

Chris Pratt was hot even as a cuddly shoe-shine boy. So now he’s positively irresistible.

Check out this behind the scenes shot of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. You’ve still got it RDJ.

We know he’s not Spider-Man anymore, but you have you admit Andrew Garfield is fine.

It’t not a rare occurrence to see Hugh Jackman with his shirt off, but we don’t believe there can be too much of a good thing.

Here’s a shot of Henry Cavill as Superman. We imagine he’s thinking “why do people only see the abs and not the person inside?” Poor lad.

Alan Ritchson’s Aquaman character featured in Smallville. Those muscles ain’t small though. What a hottie.

Last but not least we have the star of today’s show, Paul Rudd. Ant-man may be our new superhero crush. Is he yours?

Antman is in cinemas nationwide and you can read GT’s review right here.

Words Jessica Lindsay, @jesswritesgood

LGBT sex education in schools could lead to lower HIV rates and happier students

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1280px-Whitby_railway_station_MMB_08_156452The National AIDS Trust has released statistics that highlight the weak sex and relationships education in schools – and why better resources would lead to lower HIV rates and happier LGBT youth.

Throughout last year, the National AIDS Trust surveyed more than 1,000 young men in the UK, aged 14 to 19.

The study states: “. . .of those [55 percent] who had ever been bullied or treated unfairly because of their sexual orientation, over a third (39 percent) had experienced bullying or discrimination because of their sexual orientation from a teacher or another adult at school or college.”

68 percent were not educated about HIV testing and 64 percent had no instruction in school on what to do when bullied for being gay.

US statistics from PFLAG NYC state: “Gay teens are 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.”

The National AIDS Trust study divulged that 75 percent of the respondents did not receive any instruction about same-sex relationships or attraction.

However, 73 percent would value more information or support when it came to the topic.

Because LGBT-inclusive education was unavailable in schools, the respondents turned to websites, the “gay community,” pornography, friends and siblings or online forums and chat-rooms.

The results of the largest study of its kind in the UK revealed that bullying can lead to unsatisfactory mental health, which increases HIV risks because of an indifference to sexual health.

52 percent of the respondents would appreciate more education on mental health.

With the HIV rates in the UK rising, different alternatives have to be considered for prevention and the “Boys who like Boys” study reveals just that.

57 percent of those surveyed by the Nationals AIDS Trust expressed that they were unsatisfied or unsure about their satisfaction when it came to their HIV knowledge.

A good portion were unaware that HIV can only be transmitted through semen, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid, blood or breast milk, not saliva.

Additionally, they had no idea about the post-exposure prophylaxis drug, which halts infection if taken within the following 72 hours.

Recently, debate over LGBT inclusive sex education has been sparked.

General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers Christine Blower said: “We need education policy that develops curriculum for children and young people that supports the democratic values of a diverse Britain – including LGBT equality.

“Future governments must tackle the embedded homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that exist in some schools,” she told The Telegraph.

The National AIDS Trust also suggests that education relevant to LGBT youth should exist in schools, like information on consent, safe sex and pornography.

However, religious proponents object to the recommendations, claiming they will “oversexualise” the youngest members of society.

“This kind of policy is dangerous for our children who are being oversexualised at a very young age,” argued Andrea Williams of Christian Concern.

“They are being introduced to concepts and having normalised sex relationships which robs them of their innocence and is not good for their emotional and moral well being.”

DUP's Jim Wells in bid to clear name over gay remarks

 

 

 

jimwells

Former health minister Jim Wells claimed his meaning had been misconstrued

DUP politician Jim Wells has launched a bid to clear his name after he was accused of linking child abuse and gay relationships.

He resigned as health minister after a tape from a hustings event in Downpatrick in April was made public.

In the tape, he said: “You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected.”

The minister was then interrupted by uproar from the audience.

In a later statement, he said: “I accept that one line of what I said caused offence and deep concern.”

But he told BBC NI’s Nolan Show on Wednesday that the tape was wrong in that it had been cut short and his meaning had been misconstrued.

“I want to clear my name. I want people to know that I did not say what that tape suggests,” he said.

“This tape totally misrepresented what I said in the live (session).

“The tape links my views on gay adoption and my views as to what happens to children in controversial and angry divorces.

“Had the tape gone on another two minutes we would not be having this discussion.”

Mr Wells told presenter Enda McClafferty that he only realised this when he got a complete transcript of what he had actually said at a later date.

“The tape that went out across the world stopped before I was able to explain what I meant,” he said.

“I did not say that homosexuals abused children.”

“I did say I was opposed to gay marriage, which I am.

“But then I go on to make the argument that when marriages break up – in either a heterosexual or homosexual relationship – if a marriage is in high conflict, this is almost invariably to the detriment of the child.”

Mr Wells said he felt “humiliated” by what had happened.

A police investigation is ongoing.

 

Editorial:  We have previously reported on this story, but now we ask you to make your own mind up – which side of the story do you believe, Mr Wells’ current interpretation or the recording? Comment and let us know.

 

Lawsuit Filed Against Walmart For Refusing Health Care Coverage For Same-Sex Spouses

Editorial:  In July 1999, Asda became a subsidiary of the American retail company Walmart, and today is the United Kingdom’s second-largest chain by market share.

ASDA Walmart Supercentre

 

 Tuesday, July, 14th, 2015, 9:05 pm

A class action lawsuit against Walmart was filed in U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday morning. The lawsuit alleges that, prior to 2014, the nation’s largest retailer violated gender discrimination laws by denying health insurance benefits to the spouses of legally married gay employees.

The suit was filed on behalf of Jacqueline Cote, an office manager at a Swansea, Massachusetts store. Cote’s wife, Diana Smithson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, but she was denied health care coverage, because Walmart refused to provide coverage for spouses in same-sex marriages. As a result, the couple has incurred over 150,000 dollars in medical debt, while Smithson continues to fight her cancer.

The class action lawsuit was filed by two advocacy groups – Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC). Peter Romer-Friedman, WLC’s Deputy Director of Litigation, explained the rationale for the lawsuit, arguing:

Walmart broke federal law when it denied vital benefits to workers who have same-sex spouses. In an era where marriage equality is supported by the American people and the U.S. Supreme Court, it is hard to believe that Walmart would treat its LGBTQ workers so poorly. Because Walmart’s discrimination harmed working families across the country, we are filing a national class action to ensure that Walmart finally provides these families the equal benefits federal law guarantees.

Walmart revised their policy to begin covering same-sex spouses on January 1, 2014. However, Cote and Smithson were legally married in Massachusetts in 2004. On January 29, 2014, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) issued a determination that Walmart’s refusal to provide health care coverage to Jackie’s wife constituted unlawful sex discrimination.

According to Reuters, a Wal-Mart spokesman declined to comment, beyond stating that the company’s policy of denying benefits coverage to same-sex spouses before the 2014 change was legal. Whether the policy was legal will now be up to the courts to decide.

However, legal or not, the nation’s largest retailer chose to deny coverage to a woman with cancer, simply because she was in a same-sex rather than an opposite-sex marriage. That policy was discriminatory. While Walmart has already begun to change the way they treat same-sex spouses, they should also make amends and compensate those couples they discriminated against prior to 2014.

 

HPV Vaccination Is Safe and Effective

This report was published in VICE News –

By Sydney Lupkin and Hanneke Weitering

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HPV Vaccination Is Safe and Effective — So Why Don’t More States Require It?

 

This story is part of a partnership between MedPage Today and VICE News.

Although many vaccines become mandatory for school-aged children about eight years after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends them, vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV) have fallen far behind, new research shows.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with about 14 million new cases every year. But despite being recommended by the CDC in 2007, HPV vaccination is only required in Virginia, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC.

In contrast, a research letter by Princeton University bioethicist Jason Schwartz that was published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that the CDC recommended that all children get the chicken pox vaccine in 1996. Eight years later, 39 states required children to be vaccinated against the chickenpox before entering public school, and today all 50 states and Washington, DC, require it.

Schwartz and his team also examined immunization requirements for hepatitis B and meningococcal diseases, and found a similar pattern.

‘Lots of parents were saying this may be appropriate for that child down the street, but not for mine.’

“I think part of this is the fact that this vaccine had a controversial history,” Schwartz told VICE News. “Critics of the vaccine in general were very effective at raising anxiety, raising concern about safety of the vaccine, about the value, about consequences, about adolescent sexual behavior after receiving the vaccine.… That really may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of state legislatures and state health officials.”

 

Shortly after HPV vaccines were licensed, people focused on how the virus was sexually transmitted rather than the fact that the vaccine prevented a virus that caused cervical cancer, according to Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in Schwartz’s study. Fears of encouraging promiscuity among young people trumped concerns about public health.

“With attention devoted to the mode of acquisition of the virus, that raised all the issues of sex in young people,” Schaffner told VICE News. “Lots of parents were saying this may be appropriate for that child down the street, but not for mine.”

HPV vaccination has been proven to be safe and effective, and several studies have debunked the notion that it fosters sexual promiscuity.

Hepatitis B is also sexually transmitted. Schwartz points out that the hepatitis B vaccine is mandatory in 47 states and Washington, DC, where it is given to newborns.

Schaffner said that when the hepatitis B vaccine was first introduced in the 1980s, it was administered to adolescents and sparked the same fears about influencing sexual behavior. This anxiety faded in time because studies disproved a link between the vaccine and sexual behavior, and it was added to the newborn immunization schedule.

In 2010, the federal Healthy People program announced a goal to have 80 percent of children between 13 and 15 vaccinated for HPV by 2020. But CDC data show that only 37.6 percent of adolescent girls and 13.9 percent of adolescent boys had completed the three-dose series of HPV vaccination in 2013.

“When you think about how this is a vaccine that is remarkably safe and remarkably effective, that’s not a good record,” Schaffner said, referring to the data. “In fact, it’s appalling.”

Although Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an OB/GYN at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is unsurprised that HPV vaccination hasn’t been widely administered, she said that Schwartz’s research letter offered a compelling comparison and made her think about why we rely on schools to enforce vaccine coverage in the first place.

“You can argue that schools want to require communicable vaccines like the measles and the chicken pox… but you’re not going to get HPV just by being at the school with somebody with HPV,” she said. “The same thing is true with hepatitis B. With hepatitis B, you’re trying to change the behavior by requiring it.”

Texas became the first US state to require HPV vaccines in 2007, when Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating that all girls entering the sixth grade be vaccinated against HPV. But Texas legislators quickly passed a bill to override the executive order, which Perry declined to veto.

That same year, Virginia and DC passed HPV immunization requirements for middle school girls that are still in effect today. DC has since extended the requirement to boys. In July 2014, Rhode Island passed a similar bill, and it will go into effect for boys and girls this August.

Some communities have achieved high HPV immunization coverage without mandatory school requirements, a spokesman for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases told VICE News. Although Rhode Island’s mandate doesn’t go into effect until next month, he noted that 77 percent of adolescent girls in the state have already had at least the first shot in the series.

School requirements mostly help communities that already have high vaccination rates by ensuring that “stragglers” who’ve fallen behind on their immunizations are able to catch up before starting school.

“However, if the community has very low coverage — say, 50 percent — the school requirement may not be as effective since there may be other issues that is keeping coverage down,” he said. “We need to have realistic expectations of what school requirements can do.”

Hanneke Weitering is an intern at MedPage Today.
Photo via 
Wikimedia Commons

 

Editorial:  All girls aged 12 and 13 in the UK have been offered the vaccine since September 2008.

 

Further reading: