Thursday, May 18, 2006

When Real Research Meets Prevention.....


.....Good Things Happen

May 18, 2006 (Bloomberg) -- Merck & Co.'s vaccine against the sexually transmitted (HPV) virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts is safe and effective and should be considered for girls as young as nine, a U.S. (FDA) advisory panel said.

Now, we just have to hope like heck that the American Taliban are held at bay prior to final approval.

In the US, for instance, religious groups are gearing up to oppose vaccination, despite a survey showing 80 per cent of parents favour vaccinating their daughters. "Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV," says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a leading Christian lobby group that has made much of the fact that, because it can spread by skin contact, condoms are not as effective against HPV as they are against other viruses such as HIV.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a licence to engage in premarital sex," Maher claims, though it is arguable how many young women have even heard of the virus.

Because if these zealots are not smacked down, what are the chances of Little Stephen's Miracles doing the right thing - not to mention third world countries who are already under the thumb of useless 'abstinence' programs for other devastating diseases?


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