Angry angry public health angry

Twisty wrote yesterday about the goddamned HPV vaccine controversy. I thought about it today and read up a bit and now I'm boiling about the stupidity of the situation.

Right now HPV is endemic -- about three-quarters of US adults have been exposed to it. 95% of cases of cervical cancer are linked to the virus. It would be a really good thing if all the people with cervixes could get a vaccine and have antibodies on hand to fight off the infection quickly and not give it a chance to linger and make their cervical cells go all weird. Lo! We have a vaccine ready to go and this should be so simple.

But. The morality police are squawking and going all hysterical on the opinion page saying if we vaccinate girls, they will have free license to be sexual and will grow up to be harlots. Trust me, I'm screaming inside that a breakthrough in basic health is being held up by madonna/whore thinking.

Hopefully we will get a paradigm shift soon and the bible-thumping fetus worshippers will go back to the fringe where they belong, allowing us to take a rational approach to public health. Hopefully.

But just in case, I wonder if a program of boy-only vaccination would make a dent in the rate of infection. HPV infection can linger for years; if all the males had antibodies, a male who picked it up would have hours or days instead of years to transmit it to somebody else. That would make some significant difference in a population, right? Nobody would squawk about the purity of teenaged girls because they wouldn't be directly involved. And nobody would squawk about the purity of teenaged boys because, hey, nobody ever has.

It would be a frustrating half-measure but it might be a whole lot better than nothing. Thoughts?

well, it wouldn't help lesbians (who do spread the virus among themselves and to the occasional man they might experiment with). i thought the thumpers were for the most part opposed to mandatory vaccination, and not so much the vaccination itself. is that right? if so, then we would be able to make a dent in the public health problem while we wait for paradigm shift. sigh. you don't happen to know if the vaccines contain thimerosal, do you? people are so ... so ... gah!
I think the thumpers are opposed to sex and everything related to sex (with the single exception of babies).

The New England Puritans thought that married-people-sex was great. Our modern "puritanical" fundie beliefs came about a lot more recently. I see a big waste of human possibility, what with all of those people walking around with the (peculiar) belief that sex is dangerously sinful in any circumstances. Not to mention the huge waste of everybody's energy when the thumpers try to legislate their (peculiar) beliefs onto everybody.
I can't find any specs on the HPV vaccines (there are two, one from glaxosmithkline and one from merck) but since they are vaccines for people over five, they probably have thimerosal except when sanipacked in single doses.
I think Dan Savage had a good thing about this topic a while back...i think the wackos are against mandatory vaccination for the typical nutty reasons. however, i was wondering if this virus is such that unless everyone gets the vaccination, the vaccination is all but useless since selective pressure will force resistant strains to develop (ie we need to wipe it out to stop it.) I just see this all as more evidence of the sorry-ass state of science education in this country. i'm also curious, if being vaccinated against HPV is gonna have girls dropping their pants, what about aids and all the other stuff that you can get as a result of dropping pants?
Yep the reasoning is bogus. What teenager is going to decide against sex in order to minimize cancer risk in her 30s/40s/50s? Not a chance.

Hooray for Dan Savage! I love his Straight Rights Updates - our number one gay columnist running weekly reminders that straight people won't be allowed to have sex either if the American theocracy comes about (gods forbid).
i need to submit a correction to the "dangerously sinful under any circumstances" bit, and i have authority because 50% of my relatives are baptists of the first conference (read: thumpers). they absolutely love to giggle about sex, and when i went to my cousin's bridal shower she recieved no fewer than three (3) guides to sex for christian married women. and my grandpa used to be a randy devil, or so i hear. have you seen the clips of the abstinence-only rallies they hold for teenagers, where the presenter gets the entire crowd to yell "sex is great!" over and over again? then comes the catch: it's only great in a monogamous, heterosexual, livelong union blessed by god and the state. any other circumstances and you're toying with disease, broken-heartedness and damnation. heh. as if you can't get those with a poorly chosen spouse...
Em, thanks for the correction! I'm prone to a bit of us-versus-them thinking when it comes to people on spiritual paths that have me marked as hell-bound.
as well you should. :)
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