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Old 08-14-2006, 04:29 PM   #24
Marielblewis's Avatar
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Re: Anyone seen the new vaccine guideline?

There ARE over 100 forms of HPV, but only a few forms are known to develop into cervical cancer. These are the strains that are addressed in the vaccination. The recommendation for vacinating at ten is because that is the age when several other vaccines require "boosters" and also because the idea is to vaccinate before the child becomes sexually active, and at 10 kids are not sexually mature. 60% of adults between 20-40 have HPV, and because there are no symptoms and it passes through the very thin skin of the gentials and mouths, it is very difficult to prevent with education and behavior modification (although this is very effective with many other STDs). Most strains of HPV are more or less harmless, but some strains cause genital warts, others cervical cancer (these are the ones being vaccinated against) and a select few will cause warts in the throats of children born vaginally to an infected mother. I think as vaccines go, this is a legitimate vaccine that will provide real protection from the HPV strains that cause cervical cancer. Of course, it is still a vaccine and the same safety and health questions that many of us have about other vaccines definately apply to this one also.

Side note- it is unlikely that there will ever be a vaccine for HIV because the virus mutates so quickly that by the time the vaccine is produced the structure of the virus being spread is different than the structure of the virus being vaccinated against. HPV also mutates, but amazingly slowly.
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