Thursday, June 08, 2006

One less thing pro-choice feminists can accuse conservative Christians of stopping

In spite in of the mythological opposition of conservative Christians, the FDA has approved a vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus) from Merck. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, a disease which kills 3,900 women a year and condoms do not prevent its spread.

The vaccine from Merck is called Gardasil and females aged 9-26 are permitted to use the vaccine, which is injected in three doses over six months. The company is still testing the vaccine on women aged 26-45, on men, and continuing testing to see how long the vaccine is effective.

The vaccine targets 4 strains of HPV (there are more than 70 types) which are responsible for the majority of cases of cervical cancer. There are approximately ten types of HPV which cause cervical cancer as far as scientists can tell. The vaccine does not protect against all forms of HPV and won't prevent every case of cervical cancer.

Some individuals who can't stand the idea of government involving itself in a woman's "private medical decision" to have an abortion are quite adamant about making sure that the vaccine (which doesn't prevent every case of HPV or cervical cancer and is rather expensive) is mandatory for school admission. So much for freedom of choice with regards to medical decisions.

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