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RSS icon Comments on HPV: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate. What a Stupid Question.


I've thought all the arguments against the vaccine have been foolish. Your child may never be exposed to measles, but to not get them inoculated against it is ridiculous.

Obviously, if you're the kind of person that expects your daughter to be a virgin on her wedding day, you probably would also like your son-in-law to be as well. But HPV isn't just transmitted via intercourse. Are you willing to take a chance with your daughter's life that the husband-to-be has never had any genital contact?

Not to mention that many strains of HPV can't be tested for in men. He may not even know that he has it. It seems a stupid gamble to prove righteousness through potential cancer.

Posted by Brie | January 29, 2007 10:54 AM

And not to mention that not all sex is consensual. Even the most devout practioner of abstinence could be raped by someone who is HPV positive.

Posted by yak | January 29, 2007 11:11 AM

And what about sexual abuse? American parents seem to be in a perpetual tizzy about pedophiles. Aren't fundies just as afraid as everyone else that their daughters might be abused?

Posted by keshmeshi | January 29, 2007 11:12 AM

That is just ridiculous! As someone who has had HPV, I understand the importance of a vaccine for all young women. I only wish it were available sooner. What's even more outrageous is the fact that people don't realize it's NOT only contracted by SEX. Sure, it's the most common way of contracting it but certainly not the only way. So saying as long as your daughter abstains from sex she'll be fine, is completely idiotic!

Posted by Faux Show | January 29, 2007 11:21 AM

This whole "debate" is so amazingly stupid. Literally, these people are advocating a death penalty for any form of sexuality that deviates even the slightest from a single partner throughout one's life.

If this is the fuss over a HPV vaccine, I cannot imagine the asinine arguments to come over the HSV (herpes) vaccine.

Posted by golob | January 29, 2007 11:37 AM

Crap like this is why it's getting harder and harder for me to tolerate any form of religiosity. It's a harmful, moronic fairy story, and the human race needs to get over it already.

Posted by Levislade | January 29, 2007 11:49 AM

If the only thing keeping your daughter from fucking is the fear of cancer, you've got bigger problems at home than you think you do. Christ, it's like a mental illness with these people.

Posted by Fnarf | January 29, 2007 12:08 PM

I say, let the religious zealots have their way, and not vaccinate their kids or themselves. Survival of the fittest. Once the HPV rate for christians is 100X that of a normal person, maybe they'll wake up. Or, they'll just die out, one by one, holding their beliefs of superiority to the end.

PS. I realize that the kids are the ones who suffer. That sucks, but fundie kids turn into fundie parents.

Posted by Monique | January 29, 2007 12:12 PM

The whole "vaccinations against cancer lead to promiscuity" thing was exhibit #5133 in why I finally dumped the (current) right-wing. Maybe someday a conservative or religious leader will restore my faith in the philosophy, but as long as they're being led by reactionary zealots who come up with sh!t like this, I had to wave them goodbye. I mean, how anti-science and paranoid can you get?

Posted by torrentprime | January 29, 2007 12:19 PM

I was a fundie kid. We don't all become fundie parents.

Posted by Tiz | January 29, 2007 12:34 PM

if i recall, this vaccine might protect against 4 or 6 of the 28-ish strands of HPV. that's hardly most.

Posted by mike | January 29, 2007 12:40 PM

It protects against something like 4 or 6 strains out of a lot more, true, but those strains that it does protect against are responsible for 70% of the cases of cervical cancer. that's why they can say "most."

Posted by Jessica | January 29, 2007 12:51 PM

If you read my article, you'd know that it protects against four strains of HPV. I meant to say, "protects against the strains of the virus that cause most cases of cervical cancer." 16 and 18 are responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases. I hate grammar.

Posted by annie | January 29, 2007 12:54 PM

16 and 18 also produce the most aggressive forms of cervical cancer. Hence why the vaccine targets them.

Posted by golob | January 29, 2007 1:27 PM

Hepatitis B can also be sexually transmitted, and vaccinations against it are - uncontroversially - required in many states and to enter many (most?) colleges. They're merely "recommended" by King County.

Posted by asdf | January 29, 2007 1:54 PM

Correction: the Hepatitis B vaccine series is being phased in as a _requirement_ in Washington.

Posted by asdf | January 29, 2007 2:01 PM

Most of what I have to say about this issue, an issue I am well qualified to comment on as my poor vagina has been subjected to all sorts of assaults in the last couple of years intended to keep me from dying of cervical cancer, has been covered in previous comments, but nobody asked about why boys are not being vacinated. Yes I already know that the supply is low and so it's going to people who have a cervix first but the vast majority of women are getting this from the men they have sex with! Penis cancer is related to HPV too. It is more then stupid -- it is wrong to deny preventative treatment because you have a problem with how a disease is spread. Fifteen years ago when my kids started getting Hep B vaccinations there was not one word said about sexual transmission. I wonder how many fundie kids have already gotten their Hep B vaccines? Ahh never mind--there is no point in trying to point out the logical fallacies in all this nonsense-- I'll just go deep breath my rage away and remind my vagina to fight the good fight.

Posted by good vagina | January 29, 2007 5:44 PM

Imagine if they had developed a vaccine to prevent heart disease and some parents said "Oh, but we feel it might teach our children to eat poorly and not exercise so we don't want them to get it." They'd be laughed out of the room.

And yet we treat these HPV-resisting parents like they're advocating a reasonable position and not simply the child abuse it is.

Posted by Mrobvious | January 29, 2007 9:43 PM

I asked my doctor about why the vaciine is only being given to women (and, for that matter, right now its only approved for women ages 9 to 26-- if you're over 26, too bad). She siad that the reason its only been approved for that group is that that's the group they've done clinical trials for. They only have so much funding at first to do clinical trials so it makes sense to start with the group that will benefit MOST-- it doesn't mean they won't start offering it to older women and to men in the next few years.

Posted by Jessica | January 29, 2007 10:15 PM

It's true that the FDA has not approved the vaccine for boys, men, or older women, and Merck can't market it to those populations. Your doctor can prescribe the vaccine "off-label"--but your insurance definitely won't cover it. And clinical trials are underway for men: Note this article in today's New York Times.

It's important to remember that the vaccine is NOT therapeutic: If you already have HPV—and most sexually active people acquire it at some point in their lives—it won't help. So the population that stands to benefit most from the vaccine is the demographic it's been tested for: girls and younger women who have not yet become sexually active or have had very few sex partners.

Posted by annie | January 30, 2007 9:00 AM


Posted by DISGUSTED | February 3, 2007 11:27 AM

I am doing a debate about the HPV vaccine and you have all been very helpful. With your debate I know both sides and I think I will win.Thank!

P.S.-I am for the vaccine, not against it!

Posted by Melanie | February 5, 2007 9:37 AM

First of all, even though the men are not the most beneficial group from the vaccine, they are the main sexual transmitters! Don't you think we'd be better off to vaccinate the cause, rather than the effects? Second, is this a debate about the hpv vaccine, or religious morality? I thought that it was more about the latter in the first half of the argument. third, if it's not the only way to get hpv,(sex) then tell me some of the other ones!

Posted by dr.curlyq | February 5, 2007 9:48 AM

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