According to news reports, the FDA will decide whether or not to extend the the administration of Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, to women ages 27-45, by this summer. Currently, Gardasil is only approved for use in women ages 9-26. A spokeswoman for Merck, the company that produces Gardasil, emphasized that the vaccine prevents four different strains of HPV, so even women who already have HPV can consider getting the Gardasil shots in order to prevent strains they do not have. The current HPV tests do not differentiate between the types of the virus. [Gardasil]
PLEASE READ THIS!!! I was under the assumption (like many people) that you can't get an STD if you use a condom. HPV is transmitted regardless of condom use. You can use them all your life and still get it from any kind of skin contact (unless your condom is magical and covers every single part of the genital area.
But to answer the "why do men not have to get the vaccine" question - I was told by my gynocologist that men cannot get cancer from HPV. And they can't be forced to get an immunization/shot just so the disease stops spreading (pretty ridiculous considering they can force immigrants to get tuberculosis tests and whatnot). I guess this is a "my body, my choice" type of thing that ends up screwing us females over royally.
But on top of all of that, it's good to know that only a handful of the strains of HPV are high-risk (could cause cancer) and, if you're unfortunate enough to get a high-risk form, genital warts are not prevalent. However, the low-risk forms are dangerous in that if you do have warts and manage to get pregnant, the warts could pass HPV onto your child in the birth canal and cause them to get the disease or cause them to have respiratory problems.
My point in all of this? GET THE SHOT! And don't be ignorant about what a condom can and can't do. And also keep in mind that we should be demanding that this information is told to sexually-active teenagers so that they (and all of us!) can start making REAL educated decisions. This PC-bull could make all of us sick in the end. And the only thing we'll be sparing is sensitive peoples' feelings!