HPV Vaccination Controversy

HPV Vaccination Controversy

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is directly responsible for up to 80% of cervical cancers detected in Australian women.

The vast majority of HPV strains go undetected and unnoticed and are quickly destroyed by our immune systems.

Karen Smith By in ,
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is directly responsible for up to 80% of cervical cancers detected in Australian women.

The vast majority of HPV strains go undetected and unnoticed and are quickly destroyed by our immune systems.

Although almost 250 strains of HPV have been detected, only 4 of them have been found to lead to cervical cancer. Of these, #16 and #18 are the most dangerous. Just like cervical cancer, HPV can be transmitted in oral as well and that might result to oral cancer if not treated that is why you need to have a proper oral hygiene and Book your Appointment to your dentist now to ask guidance about oral health issues.

Cervical cancer is treatable in its early stages, but the problem is that it often goes undetected until the cancer is well advanced and inoperable. The HPV strains that cause cervical cancer can sit dormant for long periods of time while they slowly alter the structure of cervical cells.

Therefore, it`s critical for all women between the ages of 18 and 60 who are sexually active to have regular Pap tests. A Pap smear can detect the presence of abnormal cells so that further investigations can be conducted.

HPV Vaccination

What is the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccine doesn’t prevent HPV; it has been developed to prevent cervical cancer that occurs as a direct result of HPV.

The vaccine was discovered by a team led by Professor Ian Frazer from the Queensland University’s Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research.

The cervical cancer vaccine available in Australia is Gardasil and a campaign is underway to vaccinate all girls and women between the ages of 12 and 18 via a school-based program. The vaccine is administered by medical practitioners in a series of 3 injections. All 3 injections have to be completed before the vaccine can be guaranteed success.

However, the vaccine is not guaranteed if the recipient has already been sexually active and at risk of having already been exposed to HPV.

Why is there HPV vaccination controversy?

HPV Vaccination

Various groups have opposed the vaccine in school-age girls for a variety of reasons.

The HPV vaccine has only been available for a short period of time, so the long-term viability of the vaccine has not been fully investigated.

During the clinical tests on animals, it was discovered that excessive doses of polysorbate 80, which is used as a chemical stabilizer in the vaccine, resulted in infertility in some animals. However, the doses of polysorbate 80 were administered regularly over a prolonged period of time – way more than the low doses in the vaccine.

While limited side effects, including slight nausea or irritation around the site of the injection, have been noted in Australia, US tests have indicated that up to 3 girls have died as a result of being vaccinated. The proof is inconclusive at this stage.

While clinical tests of the HPV treatment in Australia and the US have proven to be virtually 100% effective against HPV types #16 and #18, it does not offer protection against the many other strains of HPV and won’t protect women who have had a sexual experience before the vaccine was administered.

So it remains imperative that all women over the age of 18 have a Pap smear at least once every 2 years, regardless of whether or not they have had the HPV vaccine. Medical experts suggest that women who are sexually active with a number of partners undergo Pap tests at least once every year.

The slight discomfort that a number of young girls experience when given the HPV vaccine is nothing when compared to the consequences of cervical cancer, so the solution for parents is to gather as much information as possible about HPV and its consequences and then make an informed decision.

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