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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

NEW YORK: A Shot of Controversy and Prevention


Post-Standard (Syracuse) (09.04.07) - Monday, September 10,

Back-to-school immunizations may include the human papillomavirus vaccine, should Central New York parents choose to have their young daughters inoculated. Approved for girls and women ages 9-26, the vaccine protects against four types of HPV, two of which cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.

Since October, the Upstate Medical University Hospital's Pediatric and Adolescent Center has administered 700 doses of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, said Darryl Geddes, hospital spokesperson. Pediatricians, county health departments, and community health care centers are also offering the vaccine.

It will take at least a year before an accurate estimate of national uptake of the vaccine can be determined, said Curtis Allen, a CDC spokesperson. Gardasil's manufacturer, Merck & Co., has distributed 7.5 million doses nationwide, he said. "We know anecdotally that it's a very popular vaccine." In an informal survey of about a dozen health care professionals in Onondaga, Madison, Oswego, Oneida, Cortland and Cayuga counties, interest in HPV vaccine was reportedly strong, and more than 1,000 girls had received it since late last year.

Some find the vaccine controversial, believing it promotes promiscuity; its long-term safety and efficacy are not known; or that those vaccinated may feel no need to practice safe sex or have regular Pap screenings.

"As much as every parent believes that their child will never have sex until they get married, you can never guarantee that," said Dr. Denise Wolken of Manlius' Eastside Pediatric Group, where 174 patients have received the vaccine. "I don't go into it asking whether your child is sexually active," said Dr. Luis Castro of Syracuse's Westside Family Center. Instead, he emphasizes that the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer.


Copyright © 2007 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in September 10, 2007. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.