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Abstinence Avengers: Cervical cancer vaccine no good

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  • Abstinence Avengers: Cervical cancer vaccine no good

    "Just because you wear a seat belt doesn't mean you're seeking out an accident," Kaye said.

    Debate rages on use of cervical cancer vaccine
    While almost 100% effective, some contend use condones teen sex

    Rob Stein, Washington Post

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Washington -- A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates who want to use the shots aggressively to prevent thousands of malignancies and social conservatives who say immunizing teen-agers could encourage sexual activity.

    Although the vaccine will not become available until next year at the earliest, activists on both sides have begun maneuvering to influence how widely the immunizations will be employed.

    Groups working to reduce the toll of the cancer are eagerly awaiting the vaccine and want it to become part of the standard roster of shots that children, especially girls, receive just before puberty.

    Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage. Several leading groups that promote abstinence are meeting this week to formulate official policies on the vaccine.

    Officials from the companies developing the shots -- Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline -- have been meeting with advocacy groups to try to assuage their concerns.

    The jockeying reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used.

    "What the Bush administration has done has taken this coterie of people and put them into very influential positions in Washington," said James Morone Jr., a professor of political science at Brown University. "And it's having an effect in debates like this."

    The vaccine protects women against strains of a ubiquitous germ called the human papilloma virus. Although many strains of the virus are innocuous, some can cause cancerous lesions on the cervix (the outer end of the uterus), making them the primary cause of this cancer in the United States. Cervical cancer strikes more than 10,000 U.S. women each year, killing more than 3,700.

    The vaccine appears to be virtually 100 percent effective against two of the most common cancer-causing HPV strains. Merck, whose vaccine is further along, plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year for approval to sell the shots.

    Exactly how the vaccine is used will be largely determined by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel of experts assembled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The panel issues widely followed guidelines, including recommendations for childhood vaccines that become the basis for vaccination requirements set by public schools.

    Officials of both companies noted that research indicates the best age to vaccinate would be just before puberty to make sure children are protected before they become sexually active. The vaccine would probably be targeted primarily at girls but could also be used on boys to limit the spread of the virus.

    "I would like to see it that if you don't have your HPV vaccine, you can't start high school," said Juan Carlos Felix of the University of Southern California, who leads the National Cervical Cancer Coalition's medical advisory panel.

    At the ACIP meeting last week, panel members heard presentations about the pros and cons of vaccinating girls at various ages. A survey of 294 pediatricians presented at the meeting found that more than half were worried that parents of female patients might refuse the vaccine, and 11 percent of the doctors said they thought vaccinating against a sexually transmitted disease "may encourage risky sexual behavior in my adolescent patients."

    Conservative groups say they welcome the vaccine as an important public health tool but oppose making it mandatory.

    "Some people have raised the issue of whether this vaccine may be sending an overall message to teen-agers that, 'We expect you to be sexually active,' " said Reginald Finger, a doctor trained in public health who served as a medical analyst for Focus on the Family before being appointed to the ACIP in 2003.

    "There are people who sense that it could cause people to feel like sexual behaviors are safer if they are vaccinated and may lead to more sexual behavior because they feel safe," said Finger, emphasizing he does not endorse that position and is withholding judgment until the issue comes before the vaccine policy panel for a formal recommendation.

    Conservative medical groups have been fielding calls from concerned parents and organizations, officials said.

    "I've talked to some who have said, 'This is going to sabotage our abstinence message,' " said Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. But Rudd said most people change their minds once they learn more, adding he would probably want his children immunized. Rudd, however, draws the line at making the vaccine mandatory.

    "Parents should have the choice. There are those who would say, 'We can provide a better, healthier alternative than the vaccine, and that is to teach abstinence,' " Rudd said.

    The council plans to meet Wednesday to discuss the issue. On the same day, the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, Texas, which advises conservative groups on sexuality and health issues, is convening a one-day meeting to develop a position statement.

    Alan Kaye, executive director of the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, likened the vaccine to wearing a seat belt.

    "Just because you wear a seat belt doesn't mean you're seeking out an accident," Kaye said.
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #2
    Wow. Women are going to die over this. Wow.
    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

    Comment


    • #3
      Allow the vaccine to be optional. Let the parents decide.

      However, they're they ones who should be to blame if their daughter develops cervical cancer later on in their life. I wonder how good they'd feel about there decision when it could have saved their daughter's life.

      Comment


      • #4
        would they react the same way to a HIV vaccine?

        I can hear it now..."it is primarly spread by homosexuals, whores, and drug users. If we make it mandaatory all will become homosexual whores that are on Heroin. Lets not do this because we will send the wrong message!"

        Comment


        • #5
          I didn't see a discussion of a link between sexually transmitted diseases, HPV, and cervical cancer. What am I missing?

          Moon

          Comment


          • #6
            You know, people on message boards like this say "you're a Bush hater!" and "why do you hate Bush so much?" and stuff.

            Well, yes, and crap like this is why.
            Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

            "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

            Comment


            • #7
              QUOTE(Moon Man @ Nov 1 2005, 12:38 PM) Quoted post

              I didn't see a discussion of a link between sexually transmitted diseases, HPV, and cervical cancer. What am I missing?

              Moon
              [/b][/quote]

              a bible?

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think it should be mandatory simply because cancer cannot be spread to other people.

                But I agree that it's stupid to expect this vaccine to increase sexual activity. How far down the list of reasons not to have sex is cervical cancer?
                "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

                "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

                Comment


                • #9
                  QUOTE(kah @ Nov 1 2005, 01:39 PM) Quoted post

                  You know, people on message boards like this say "you're a Bush hater!" and "why do you hate Bush so much?" and stuff.

                  Well, yes, and crap like this is why.
                  [/b][/quote]
                  What an insane response, Kah.

                  My personal bet is that there are in fact far fewer of these crazy idiots more worried about "sending messages" than are being implied here. I'm quite sure the vast majority of parents want their kids vaccinated. But that's not how it gets reported.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE(Airshark @ Nov 1 2005, 10:42 AM) Quoted post
                    What an insane response, Kah.

                    My personal bet is that there are in fact far fewer of these crazy idiots more worried about "sending messages" than are being implied here. I'm quite sure the vast majority of parents want their kids vaccinated. But that's not how it gets reported.
                    [/b][/quote]


                    QUOTE
                    The jockeying reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used. [/b][/quote]


                    I know you're big on the Dubya train, Airshark, but I'm feeling pretty good about my sanity right now.
                    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      QUOTE(beerismypal @ Nov 1 2005, 12:32 PM) Quoted post

                      would they react the same way to a HIV vaccine?

                      I can hear it now..."it is primarly spread by homosexuals, whores, and drug users. If we make it mandaatory all will become homosexual whores that are on Heroin. Lets not do this because we will send the wrong message!"
                      [/b][/quote]


                      A prominent local institution is working on just that, and gets that kind of feedback from the kooks.
                      Are you on the list?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        QUOTE(SLUBLUE @ Nov 1 2005, 12:46 PM) Quoted post

                        QUOTE(beerismypal @ Nov 1 2005, 12:32 PM) Quoted post

                        would they react the same way to a HIV vaccine?

                        I can hear it now..."it is primarly spread by homosexuals, whores, and drug users. If we make it mandaatory all will become homosexual whores that are on Heroin. Lets not do this because we will send the wrong message!"
                        [/b][/quote]


                        A prominent local institution is working on just that, and gets that kind of feedback from the kooks.
                        [/b][/quote]
                        Are candybars funding it?

                        "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                        Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                        -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          QUOTE(kah @ Nov 1 2005, 01:44 PM) Quoted post

                          QUOTE(Airshark @ Nov 1 2005, 10:42 AM) Quoted post
                          What an insane response, Kah.

                          My personal bet is that there are in fact far fewer of these crazy idiots more worried about "sending messages" than are being implied here. I'm quite sure the vast majority of parents want their kids vaccinated. But that's not how it gets reported.
                          [/b][/quote]


                          QUOTE
                          The jockeying reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used. [/b][/quote]


                          I know you're big on the Dubya train, Airshark, but I'm feeling pretty good about my sanity right now.
                          [/b][/quote]
                          And why is this guy a former member? Do we even know that he opposes this specifically? We don't even know for sure what Focus on the Family's official position is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            QUOTE(*007* @ Nov 1 2005, 12:48 PM) Quoted post

                            QUOTE(SLUBLUE @ Nov 1 2005, 12:46 PM) Quoted post

                            QUOTE(beerismypal @ Nov 1 2005, 12:32 PM) Quoted post

                            would they react the same way to a HIV vaccine?

                            I can hear it now..."it is primarly spread by homosexuals, whores, and drug users. If we make it mandaatory all will become homosexual whores that are on Heroin. Lets not do this because we will send the wrong message!"
                            [/b][/quote]


                            A prominent local institution is working on just that, and gets that kind of feedback from the kooks.
                            [/b][/quote]
                            Are candybars funding it?
                            [/b][/quote]
                            Nope. We're selling Shut The Fuck Up Cola.

                            Grab yourself a can.
                            Are you on the list?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              QUOTE(Airshark @ Nov 1 2005, 12:48 PM) Quoted post

                              QUOTE(kah @ Nov 1 2005, 01:44 PM) Quoted post

                              QUOTE(Airshark @ Nov 1 2005, 10:42 AM) Quoted post
                              What an insane response, Kah.

                              My personal bet is that there are in fact far fewer of these crazy idiots more worried about "sending messages" than are being implied here. I'm quite sure the vast majority of parents want their kids vaccinated. But that's not how it gets reported.
                              [/b][/quote]


                              QUOTE
                              The jockeying reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used. [/b][/quote]


                              I know you're big on the Dubya train, Airshark, but I'm feeling pretty good about my sanity right now.
                              [/b][/quote]
                              And why is this guy a former member? Do we even know that he opposes this specifically? We don't even know for sure what Focus on the Family's official position is.
                              [/b][/quote]

                              I'm fairly certain they advocate preserving the womb for Jesus and jesus only, neighbor boy be damned.
                              Are you on the list?

                              Comment

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