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The HPV Vaccine Debate Continues: Benefit or Detriment?

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) related image
Lev Dolgachov/PhotoSpin

The debate about the safety and efficacy of vaccinating against the HPV virus rolls on, with the vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix being recommended by the medical community in many countries, and being resisted by a growing number of parents wary about the wellbeing of their teenage and prepubescent children.

Fewer people are willing to take the word of the medical experts these days. What's needed is more clear, unslanted information so that people can make informed decisions for themselves.

The CDC website reported that about 79 million Americans have HPV, with about 14 million being infected per year.

A March 17, 2013 article on Mayoclinic.com said that the number of parents who won't have their teenage girls vaccinated against HPV is continuing to rise. Between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of parents who won't have their daughters vaccinated has risen from 40 percent to 44 percent.

Many of these parents believed that the vaccine isn't necessary, or that it is not appropriate treatment for the age group, or that the side effects are too risky, or that their child isn't sexually active ... or all of the above. Despite reassurances and studies emphasizing the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccine, many parents don't trust it, and don't trust the sources endorsing the vaccines.

Dr. Christiane Northrup has been a doctor in obstetrics and gynecology for more than a quarter of a century. She has authored several books including "The Wisdom of Menopause," "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" and "The Secret Pleasures of Menopause" and the recipients of many awards, the most recent of which came from Reader's Digest who put her on "the 100 Most Trusted People in America."

Northrup wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 that it's important to keep in mind that HPV vaccines Cervarix and Gardasil don't prevent cancer of any kind, although they may protect for a time against some strains of HPV.

Cervarix protects against some, but not all, HPV strains that can cause cervical cancer as well as against genital warts. Gardasil targets the four HPV strains which are most common, but that is a small portion of the more than 100 HPV strains we know of.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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