Today, I want to piggyback, slightly, off of my last post on STI’s.
A brief look at HPV.
The Human Papillon Virus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted infection that is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex in both males and females. More than 40 classifications of this virus exist and, at some point during the sexually active phase of their lives, nearly all males and females will contract it. To make it even more perplexed, of those who contract the virus, symptoms may take years to surface eliminating the possibility of pinpointing the source of infection.
For most people the virus will clear itself up without leaving a trail of health complications. For others, especially those with a weakened immune system, the virus lingers and can be the cause of genital warts and cervical, vaginal, penis and anus cancer. It can also be linked to cancer of the throat, tongue and tonsils.
The HPV vaccination is recommended as a safe and effective way to protect against the virus. I, however, am on the fence with how I feel about who gets it. I,totally, get the concept of wanting to safe guard against this disease. I love that notion! For me, the problem is not the act of getting this vaccine or any others. Immunizations are the reason I used to call my pediatrician Dr. Stickum. They are also the reason that I have never contracted that of which I am vaccinated against.
I understand that there is always some risk association for drug related side effects. Heck, I have asthma and one of the side effects of my inhaler is asthma. Yes, I said asthma is a side effect associated with using the asthma inhaler! Talk about a modern day revival of what came first the chicken or the egg.
Getting back to my concern…
The HPV vaccine is now being considered for children…Babies…Wee little ones or little big people, whatever your term of humorous description is for them. I have a hard time accepting this. Their little developing bodies and organs can’t possibly be ready. Why do they even need this type of injection? In older children, aged 11-12, the recommendation was for 3 doses for the vaccine. The CDC has recently scaled it down to 2 doses for that age group but those aged 15-26 years of age will remain at 3. I have read that the injection is effective for a ‘very long time’ but what does the really mean? I haven’t read anything about a booster shot for this. Am I supposed to equate a very long time to mean,’You are safe now but all bets are off when you turn 50′. If it means 8-10 years, as some readings have predicted, then all bets are off even sooner.
It is just my opinion but I don’t think the HPV vaccine for infants is appropriate. I don’t understand why a child so young would need this type of inoculation. Maybe someone out there with a better understanding would be able to drop that knowledge on me.