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HPV Vaccine, the first vaccine against cancer

SS Member Image By drodriguez 03.19.07
HPV Vaccine, the first vaccine against cancer
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In 2006 the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine Gardasil was FDA approved for 9-26 year old girls and women in America. HPV is the most common STD in the US, it's known to cause cervical cancer in women and 3,700 deaths per year. The vaccine tested 'effective' against the particular HPV strains for genital warts and strains leading to cervical cancer. This is the first vaccine to prevent cancer.

So what's the debate? The immunization committee has recommended this vaccine for all 11 and 12 year old girls. It is the first female only vaccine, the first to target an STD and most importantly the first to protect against cancer. However, in some states the decision to mandate this vaccine has been unpopular, watch the video to learn more.

Do you think all states should mandate this vaccine? How young is too young? And do you believe girls will become promiscuous because of it?

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  • nani0988 By nani0988

    I appreciate this information regarding HPV. This is a big topic that you are hearing a lot about on tv and the radio. It amazes me that women never knew about it. I think that 11 years old is a little young but maybe as they get older it can be a pre-requisite for high school or college. I do not think that young girls getting the vaccine will make them promiscuous. It is good to educate our youth!

  • bjlg By bjlg

    I agree that states can mandate vaccinations against easily communicable diseases to control public health, and I do not think that young girls getting the HPV vaccine will make them promiscuous. But I strongly object to state governments basically denying girls an education unless they get a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease. Even with the "opt out," I find this stand appallingly intrusive.


    I think this is a wonderful thing, and a topic and issue that needs addressing in the world we live in today.

  • amvan1 By amvan1

    It is great that the advances in medicine has made this vaccine possible.  But I strongly disagree with mandating this vaccine for all girls.  Basically what this mandate says is that promiscuity is a way of life and we'd better take the necessary precautions.  Promiscuity is NOT a way of life.  Just because it is so widely accepted does not make it okay.  My family believes in chastity before marriage.  We teach our children abstinence and what we believe are correct principles.  Granted they have their own choice in how they live their lives, but I believe that as we have laid the foundation for morality and values that they will follow those teachings into their adult years.  The vaccine should be available to those who want it, but it should not be mandated.

  • ctmeds By ctmeds

    I think this should be a CHOICE for sexually active girls. I believe its a positive step towards sexually transmitted diseases, but it should be reccomended not mandated.

  • violetb By violetb

    Needs more research and shouldn't be mandated but suggested.

  • jwelde By jwelde

    I think it's disappointing that this issue has been turned into a "morality" issue, which draws attention away from other aspects of this vaccine.

    According to the CDC:

    "Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year....

    ...most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms; therefore, most infected persons are unaware they are infected, yet they can transmit the virus to a sex partner."

    These figures are astonishing. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection! This is a serious issue, in that HPV is directly linked to cervical cancer. As far as whether it promotes promiscuity among unmarried people, I'm not convinced that people will be more likely to have sex just because they are protected from HPV. The fact is that unmarried people are having sex even with the very real possibility of contracting other illnesses, or even having a baby 9 months later!

    I think the real story here, and the one that has been glossed over by the mainstream media, is just what the blog entry above emphasized: this is the first vaccine to prevent cancer, the first female-only vaccine, and I believe the first time cancer has been linked to a virus. This is a huge, important step forward in medicine, and I'm hopeful that it will lead to other breakthroughs in a devastating disease (cancer in general) that affects way too many people.

  • libgrl By libgrl

    It’s an important point that the value in a mandated vaccination program is that everyone—or the closest we can get to everyone—participates. That’s how you eradicate a disease—no one is left to get or to pass on the disease. You’ve not only protected yourself, but everyone else out there who had less or more risk of being exposed. It’s okay to not agree with mandated vaccination on principle (moral or otherwise), but we should recognize the trade-off . . . that without widespread use of the vaccine, which will only occur by mandating it’s use, there is limited value to vaccination.

    This debate provides a wonderful opportunity to become better informed about health and social issues, and to think both clearly and compassionately about difficult choices we face.

  • Tiffanyfree By Tiffanyfree

    I have a 16 year old daughter and when I took her to her last Dr. appt he recommended that she get the shot and explained everything to me and I felt that better safe than sorry...  When I told my family that she had the shot - they were all against it.  Kids now adays are having sex a such a young age.  The shot is takin in a series of 3 shots months apart - so it something that your really have to keep track of.  My daughter is getting her 2nd series in 2 weeks -- I hope I made the right choice...

  • kscouple By kscouple

    I wished I would have had the shot or had it available when I was younger.  I got HPV from my partner without knowing about it until well after I was infected.  I hadn't been to the doctor because I was young and afraid to tell my mother that I was having sex.  Yes, that was 15 years ago, but still, girls are not all that comfortable talking to their parents about it.  I think that if it was something required, it would be an asset to girls.  I had pre-cancer cells and had to have laser surgery to get rid of the pre cancer cells and it hasn't been right "down there" since.  I wished I would have had this option and known about it.  My girls are 12 and 11 now and I will be getting them this shot for sure because I dont' want them to have the pain that I had and that I went through with the pre cancer.

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