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

OHIO: Gardasil Helps Prevent Cancer Caused by HPV


The Blade (Toledo) (11.14.11) - Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Health officials hope recent findings and new recommendations will boost the initially disappointing uptake of the human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil.

In October, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended Gardasil for young males; ACIP already had recommended that young females be vaccinated against HPV. The STD causes cancers of the cervix, vulva, penis, anus, and throat, as well as genital warts. In addition, a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that HPV-infected women were two to three times more likely than uninfected women to have had a heart attack or stroke.

"It's about preventing cancer," said Dr. Ziad Jarra, a Toledo- area pediatrician. "Boys can transmit the infection to girls. By giving the injection to boys, we're indirectly protecting girls." Referring to the recommended age for giving the vaccine, Jarra acknowledged, "People don't like to think about their 11- or 12-year-old having sex. Not enough people are educated about what the vaccine is. It's really an anti-cancer vaccine." "We get them vaccinated against other diseases, so why not cancer?" asked Sylvania mom Marilyn Newman. She said her son and daughter were young adults when the vaccine was introduced, but had they been younger, she would have "definitely gotten them vaccinated." "They're talking about sex education at a young age now, and if parents are OK with that, they should be OK talking about this," Newman said. "You just never know what your kid is going to do." Stephanie Jones of Adrian said she will "more than likely" get her 10-year-old daughter vaccinated against HPV in the future but is less certain about the girl's twin brother. "I'll have to do some research and talk it over with my pediatrician," Jones said. "I don't know much about that one yet."


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Information in this article was accurate in November 16, 2011. 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.