Maybe you’ve seen the ads: girls of various ages warning us about the dangers of HPV and cervical cancer, and telling us they want to be one less! One less woman who suffers from cervical cancer. Unfortunately, gardasil has been linked to many deaths, making the tag line “one less” eerily literal.
“Anaphylactic shock,” “foaming at mouth,” “grand mal convulsion,” “coma” and “now paralyzed” are a few of the startling descriptions included in a new federal report describing the complications from Merck & Co.’s Gardasil medication for sexually transmitted human papillomavirus – which has been proposed as mandatory for all schoolgirls.
The above was obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by Judicial Watch, a Washington group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption.
As of 30 June 2008, there have been 9,749 reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System following Gardasil vaccination, and over 20 deaths. About a third of these deaths were the result of blood clots; the others were unknown.
Gardasil is designed to prevent infection with certain strains of human papillomavirus virus (HPV) that are implicated in cases of cervical cancer. HPV causes genital warts, but not all strains cause cervical cancer or warts. Some people’s immune systems suppress the virus, making them carriers, but they never have outbreaks of genital warts. Others may get warts that eventually clear after treatment. Still others may have abnormal pap smears as the virus spreads to the cervix, and these cases can turn into cervical cancer if not treated. After treatment, the body usually clears the virus, but some may experience repeated outbreaks. It depends on the strain and the woman’s immune system.
Approximately 20 million people worldwide, or 1 in 13 are infected with HPV, which is incredibly contagious, and like herpes, some are more susceptible than others. Some may come in contact with warts and may not contract the virus, while others can have sex with a person who does not currently have an outbreak but is a carrier of the virus and then contract the virus, which can manifest as warts in 10 days. Scary stuff. This is how the virus spreads – you may not know you have it, but your partner suddenly shows up with it. The body may also suppress it for many years before you experience an outbreak, so maybe your partner already had it, or you could have given it unknowingly to your partner.
Condoms are key here, folks, as is discussing your sexual history and getting regular pap smears. HPV is easily treated up front and the warts can be removed. If you have an abnormal pap, your doctor will likely recommend a colposcopy and then whatever treatment is appropriate. Keep your immune system strong to help your body fight the virus, and don’t smoke – smoking has been linked to cervical cancer and abnormal paps. Interestingly, the pill has been linked to an increase in abnormal cervical cells.
Cervical cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in women world-wide.
Gardasil is only effective in preventing HPV infections, not in treating those already infected by HPV, so the vaccine must be given before HPV infection occurs in order to be effective. Shockingly, it is recommended for grade-school girls, which in theory might make good sense, but is it worth the risk of death? What about socializing our children to be open and frank about their sexual history and to practice safe sex?
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