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Are you For or Against the HPV Vaccine?

HPV, otherwise known as the Human Papilloma Virus, is a Cancer causing virus that affects approximately 20 million people nationwide. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year. Even though this virus affects so many women, there are usually no symptoms, therefore many cases go undetected. While regular pap screenings and education is key, some say that is simply just not enough.

Many cities and communities across the nation are trying to issue mandatory vaccinations against HPV for women under the age of 25. While some parents are on board with this precautionary measure, others worry their daughters, sisters, and friends will be given a false sense of security against sexually transmitted diseases.

Clearly this is a very delicate subject, and while there is much more research to be done, do you think the HPV vaccine should be made mandatory for all women under 25?


Join The Conversation
liege liege 9 years
i'm thinking about getting this vaccine. i'm poor so i'd be getting it for free by a grant specifically for vaccinating the poor girls, but i really would like some cold hard facts about the pros and cons of this thing, i've heard allot of speculation, and guesstimation, but i just need to know if this thing is good or bad
fiestygirl fiestygirl 10 years
I agree that wrong information was given by some people on this forum. However, I do need to point out that HPV has not been linked to infertility. Some treatments can cause the inability to carry a pregnancy to term because the cervix becomes damaged from the removal of abnormal cells etc...this is why you need to make sure you go to a good doctor! and NOT have blind faith in medicine. An incompetant cervix can cause inferitility, but this would be present with or without HPV. Also, HPV has been linked to in-vitro fertilization failing. I have not read these studies and therefore cannot comment about the validity
leahshae leahshae 10 years
Just a couple of points to consider... - an overwhelming majority of women will contract HPV (over 75%) - the 3 strains the vaccine protects against constitute over 90% of cases - cervical cancer can cause infertility, much more often than death - condoms do not protect you - you can get HPV without having intercourse - the shot is way more effective when received before sexual activity begins for the girl/woman Why would you not take advantage of something so simple that would save so many women's fertility and lives? That's crazy to me. This is pretty much the only way to protect our daughters and sisters... why would you not want to?
fiestygirl fiestygirl 10 years
Lola- I was just offering bc this is definitely a personal matter. I feel as most of the participants on this post have been very misled about HPV. First, HPV is a virus. This means that you can NEVER get rid of a virus. Your immune system can only be strong enough to keep it inactive. There are hundreds of strains of HPV. The strains that are correlated to cervical cancer are types 6, 11, 16 and 18. These are the same strains that Gardasil protects against. About 75-80% of the population has been exposed to HPV. Yet, most do not develop symptoms because the immune system eventually overcomes the virus. So, chances are that if you have had any type of sexual contact, you have been exposed to HPV (and would test positive for an HPV test regardless of an abnormal or normal Pap smear.) Therefore a vaccine is pretty pointless unless you had NO sexual contact which is why the CDC is making recommendations for young children to get this vaccine prior to exposure. However, this is nothing to worry about, like I said most people are able to suppress the virus. (You can make your immune system strong by doing all of the things that mom recommended....eating right, sleeping, and exercising). In some people, the virus is able to make precancerous changes to the cervix which result in abnormal Pap smear results. Again, this is usually ok. The changes go back to normal as the immune system works. However, yes you will need to go back for Pap smears every 3 months for a year. This is why screening is so important. The most important thing to take away from this is to be sure that you do get your annual Pap smears!!! Most women slack on this. They do not believe that they have STDs like herpes, gon., HIV etc and so they do not seek out annual Pap smears which can detect cervical changes. Early treatments are not extreme and do not tend to cause infertility as one poster claimed. Like all diseases, the earlier the disease is found, the better the outcome. Cervical cancer is very very VERY slow growing and will eventually become evident in about 20 years from exposure. However, if you get annual Pap smears, you can stop HPV in its tracks. Lola-hope I clarified some things...any more questions let me know. "Tropical the island breeze. All of nature wild and free. This is where I long to be."
lolak lolak 10 years
Laurie, I totally agree Price is another thing to concider, I think mine is at the highest price so far. I really don't understand why, luckily if I decide to get the shot my insurance covers 90% of the cost which is great, but still what about all the factors in between? Knowing that there is another option about to be released just adds to the madness. I mean what if the next shot is for women over 26? We were considering trying for our next baby but that would be placed on hold for the rest of the year if I get the shot and I'm not sure I'm ready to do this. I mean I will be 26 on June 1st, How necessary is it to get it once you've reached that age? Fiestygirl I really appreciate your offer but if anything maybe it would be better to share your info with ALL of us cause I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one with these questions and I'm sure you would be able to shine a little more light on this subject.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
what is up with the variety of costs for this thing? Some gynos are charging $325. Others are charging $800. Mine is charging $500 and what I've been reading in the newspapers claims that the vaccine is $350! Why can't they just come up with one flat cost?
rkdub rkdub 10 years
I had to have a biopsy to check for HPV / cervical cancer and the final bill was $600 AFTER insurance.... $325 that my doctor is charging for the vaccine seems like an unbelievable bargain right now!!!! Especially when now, because I am high risk with the messed up cells they found I may have to have another biopsy done in six months, which means another $600 bill. Not to mention the fact that having someone shine a spotlight up and in between your legs is BRUTALLY awkward and the scissor looking things they use to yank out pieces of your cervix tissue basically make you want to snap your knees closed and strangle the doctor.... or maybe that was just me... either way... BAD BAD BAD experience!
fiestygirl fiestygirl 10 years
Designergirl exactly. And Katie, putting blind faith in the medical profession is the most dangerous thing you can do. Trust me, we appreciate and respect active patients.
XDeexDeeX XDeexDeeX 10 years
I'm almost 13 and I was supposed to have a vacination a couple years ago but they forgot and my parents say we don't need to tell them...I hate needles...I don't think this vacination was for cancer and stuff. It was just for not getting sick..idk..I live in France so don't expect to understand the people here. lol
designergirl designergirl 10 years
I was just doing some research (I have to write a 15 page paper on this for class) and found this interesting advice- "The surest way to eliminate risk for genital HPV infection is to refrain from any genital contact with another individual." - The National Cancer Institute Like that's going to happen. Also- "Because Gardasil does not protect against all HPV types, Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer continue to be essential to detect cervical cancers and precancerous changes. In addition, Pap tests are critically important for women who have not been vaccinated or are already infected with HPV." The more I learn about it, the more I realize that not enough is known about the vaccine. My advice is, read all you can about on reputable websites and make the decision for yourself but it should not be mandatory. Oh, and pretty soon Cervarix will be released by GlaxoSmithKline. So, at least, there will be two options out there.
fiestygirl fiestygirl 10 years
Lola- Feel free to email me if you want to know all of those answers. I am more than willing to clear anything up.
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 10 years
Cacy- thank you for posting that condoms will not protect against HPV. I was reading through teh posts saying No no no condoms won't work! The only defense against this disease if you are or ever will be sexually active is the vaccine.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
lola-k, I agree with you on the confusion over its necessity and the extravagant cost that some insurance companies don't cover. if this is such an important vaccine, why aren't we getting help getting it? and cgmaetc - I completely agree with you on the bombardment of sexual images to today's kids and arming them with the proper information on how to protect themselves should they give in to their carnal urges.
lolak lolak 10 years
I'm kind of worried about this now. Today I finally got to my Ob to get my postpartum check up and she asked if I wanted to get the shot. She gave me a pamphlet with basic info, warned me not to get pregnant within the next year and informed me that the price for this set of shots would be a total of $825!!! Now out of no where I see this post and the opinions of others and I'm more confused than ever. I mean I want to be safe but what are the odds of survival? will a pap be enough? Why do women over 26 don't really need to get it? There are over 100 types of HPV and the shots only protect against 4 of them! 50% of sexualy active people are at risk of getting it, but which types is this refering to? I'm not sure what to do here. Should I get it or not? I think life was easier before I found out about this cause now i'm in a limbo.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
merck is just a dirty company, and I don't like them
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
ok i'm a dork, forgot to close the tag! -the ceeg
CAcyclegirl CAcyclegirl 10 years
cgmaetc There actually are LOTS of studies done outside of Merck. Please reference the CDC, NIH, American Cancer Society, etc. for their take on this vaccine.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
<1> -the ceeg
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
I don't think it should be mandatory. I don't think it 'gives permission' for young girls to be promiscuous. The old 'no condoms in school' argument rears it's ignorant head again, I see. And yes, I am a Christian and encourage abstinence/celibacy but let's be real... kids are bombarded with sexual images and pressure so let's arm them with information and protection, if need be. What I don't like about this 'vaccine' is that Merck, a major pharmaceutical company is the driving force behind this, not independent scientists and labs. Where is the American Medical Association's findings on this? What universities and medical schools have looked at the research? Where are the outside studies? The way the FDA works nowadays, they just take the word of the drug companies (who's bottom line is profits, not health) look at their research (which can be fabricated) and put it on the market. They are supposed to do their own testing, but 9 times out of 10 they don't. It's too new, too untested, and the parties involved are too corrupted and colluded for my taste. And science is not an exact science. Results can be skewed and data rearranged to produce a favorable outcome. Trust, I've seen it done numerous times. If I had a daughter, I would not want her to get the 'vaccine' because not only are the chances of her getting cervical cancer very slim, you can still get cervical cancer regardless of your sexual history or exposure to the virus. Bet, 10 years from now we'll be hearing of 20-30 year olds who are in dire medical straits because of the adverse effects of this 'vaccine'. -the ceeg
reeveske reeveske 10 years
Piece of mind is why I think ppl should get it. Maybe based on what everyone has said above, we should do the proper research and make the decision personally, but as someone who contracted this (one of the cancer causing strands) as a VIRGIN and now is having to get tested every three months, I wish this came along sooner. My imagination just runs too wild whenever there's a health issue "down there." And please don't judge now that Ive admitted that. :)
katie225 katie225 10 years
well, lickety, i'd rather my baby get a little hurt by a vaccine then DIE from something completely preventable. i would feel about a billion times worse if my child died from something like whooping cough or measles or mumps or rubella than if they got hurt by a vaccine. because at least i know that i was doing what's best for my child according to the genius that is modern medicine. not vaccinating because you're afraid of getting sick or hurt by a vaccine is like not going outside because you're afraid of getting hit by a meteor. and as for not knowing what i was getting vaccinated for, i was only 15! they told me what it was, hep B, i'd heard of it. i just had no idea it was even sexually transmitted. it's not like when i got my tetanus shot i had any idea it was to prevent bad things from happening to me when i stepped on a rusty nail. to put someone down for not knowing every single thing that goes into them when they were a kid is pretty mean. i'm positively sure my mother knew, though. i'm sorry i've put my blind faith into the medical field. i'm sorry that i trust an institution which has saved people from death from things that used to kill thousands. a little skepticism never hurt anyone, that's for sure and i'm the first one to be skeptical of everything. i think asking about what sorts of trials are going on for a vaccine and who's sponsoring those trials are excellent questions to be asking. but you can't wear a tinfoil hat every single day of your life.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
Hear hear, cemp1979! Thanks for backing up my previous claim. I knew I had read that somewhere!
CAcyclegirl CAcyclegirl 10 years
Sorry to tell you all this but condoms DO NOT prevent against HPV. They help but they are not 100% effective because there is still skin to skin contact during sex even while wearing condoms. And because HPV is hard to test for in men and often they do not exhibit symptoms. This means that even if your teenage daughter chooses to remain a virgin until marriage she can still contract HPV from her husband!
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
Would want more research done on it first..
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