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Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Generation Without Cervical Cancer?

I've posted before on the new HPV vaccine (you'll have to just trust me on that, as my old blog is long gone). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US, and the virus is actually small enough to pass through condoms, as well as pass around condoms through skin to skin contact. Two strains of HPV cause 70% of cervical cancer in women, and the new vaccine, just approved by the FDA, is effective in preventing those strains, as well as two other strains that cause 90% of genital warts.

It is not effective at all once you are infected, so experts recommend childhood vaccinations. Specifically, they recommend giving it to all girls at age 11. As I noted in my earlier post, conservatives are opposed to this vaccination schedule, as it will encourage promiscuity. As the NY Times article points out, cost is also a factor, with each vaccination costing $360. If cost were not a factor, I would imagine that the recommendation would be that boys get it, too.

Thousands of women die of cervical cancer in the US each year. For those who survive, the treatments are painful (layers of the cervix are removed by one of several methods) and often temporary - the cancer may return. This is going to be one more occasion when conservatives are directly opposing women's health. We can only hope that the political will exists to live up to the promise of this new vaccine.

2 Comments:

Blogger TDEC said...

I've followed this debate to some extent and have been infuriated by the idea that vaccines agains HPV cause promiscuity. I simply have such a hard time believing that anyone could seriously believe that this is the case, esp. with all the more obviously dangerous sexual diseases on the loose. It gets really hard not to see this type of conservative opinion as obstinately stupid, and the mind boggles that ANYONE takes these people seriously.

Friday, June 09, 2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

It's such a bad argument that even some of the usual suspects are backing off of it, such as the quote in the article indicating that Concerned Women for America is taking no position on it.

If there is reason to believe that immunity lasts, I would argue for just putting it with the other immunizations in early childhood rather than leaving it as the lone immunization dangler of pre-teenhood.

Friday, June 09, 2006 12:04:00 PM  

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