Gardasil off-label for men in SF
July 30, 2009 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Who in San Francisco will prescribe Gardasil off-label to men? I figure there's probably a couple doctors around here doing it. Maybe someone practicing in the gay community?

I'm a 29-year-old straight male. I want to be vaccinated against HPV because:
1) I care about your cervix, baby.
2) I don't want warts on my dick.
3) Thumb my nose at Jenny McCarthy?

According to most sources, 29 is pretty old to get the HPV vaccine. But I think that's because most 29-year-olds are already saturated with a hundred different strains of HPV. But the first time I had sex was a month ago. So I figure I have a sexual history similar to the target demographic.

I realize I'll have to pay around $400 for the vaccine. That's fine. I'm going to ask the doctor to sign some insurance paperwork anyway. I want to try and make my health insurance pay for it. I see it as a low-stakes test drive of the HMO bureaucracy. It'll be valuable experience if I ever need to fight them over something important.

I'm particularly looking for names of doctors or clinics that are known to prescribe to men. I can poll the usual places myself if no one here has a more specific recommendation.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I wish I did. I'll look around for you though. You don't need to necessarily have no exposure. Generally you only need to be negative for one of four different strains (6, 11, 16, 18) There are a number of clinical trials for men with HIV so it's a possibility. Try one of the private HIV clinics around town to start if you don't get more answers here.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:10 PM on July 30, 2009

As a data point, I'm (very) old for Gardasil, but was interested in possibly getting it anyway. My primary care doctor was completely fine with giving it to me. Once I learned the price I said no, thanks. Don't know about men.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2009

Give Planned Parenthood a call. They have services for men as well as women.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 5:17 PM on July 30, 2009

Before trying to battle your insurance company, check to see if they will pay for any elective vaccines. I know mine won't, including Garadisil even for women of the right age group.
posted by muddgirl at 5:32 PM on July 30, 2009

You can also use the argument that HPV may cause oral cancers in both sexes.
posted by benzenedream at 5:42 PM on July 30, 2009

It's also worth pointing out that unless you had literally had zero sexual contact with another human being until a month ago, the likelihood is you have already been exposed to HPV.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:11 PM on July 30, 2009

It's my understanding that the guidelines have changed and now you can have the vaccine even if you have HPV (any of the strains). I heard this from a nurse, so I assume it's correct. Of course, that only applies to women. Have you checked to see if there are any trials you would be eligible for.
posted by ishotjr at 7:14 PM on July 30, 2009

Yes, you can get Gardasil with preexisting HPV.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:07 PM on July 30, 2009

I would think that any basic care provider can administer the vaccine to you on request. That is how I got it. I am well out of the recommended age range, too, but I did it for just-in-case peace of mind after a cervical cancer scare.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:07 AM on July 31, 2009

Sorry for the late response - I asked a colleague at City Clinic, and here's what she said:

"Unfortunately we only have Gardisil to provide to women 18 and younger (via
the federal Vaccines for Children Program) at SFCC.

It is available to men at the SFDPH Adult Immunization
clinic at 101 Grove St. The cost is $155 x 3 injections - which is lower
than in some private offices, but still the most expensive vaccine on

The website for the AIC is and the phone
number is 415 554 2625."

So you should be able to get it there, and they're probably used to filling out health insurance paperwork.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:15 PM on August 3, 2009

Mod note: This is a followup from the asker.
The Frascino Medical Group in Los Altos, CA offers Gardasil off-label to men.

Dr. Robert Frascino discusses Gardasil in this Q&A thread on

Cost is about $200 per shot; three shots are required.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:44 PM on August 7, 2009

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