The Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Essay

2442 words - 10 pages

The Human Papilloma Virus, in short terms known as HPV, is a sexually transmitted infection that can potentially lead to cervical cancer and genital warts. All cases of HPV do not cause cervical cancer, only certain strains. Yet, the rising number of deaths from cervical cancer actually caused by HPV has undeniably caught the attention of the public. In response to the cervical cancer death rate, pharmaceutical companies have developed an HPV vaccine. The vaccine was considered a major medicinal breakthrough for some, but raised a number of concerns for others. Although the safety along with the effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven, it continues to originate controversy as both advocates and opponents assess their views of whether the vaccine should be mandated or not.
Proponents of the vaccine argue that HPV is becoming more universal in the human population, and pharmaceutical companies have proposed a remedy. They believe that once individuals began to have sex, they have skyrocketed their chances of being exposed to HPV. This sexually transmitted infection (STI) can lead to many dangerous effects. Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Jonathon Temte (2008) states “Over 40 serotypes of HPV can cause genital infections, but types 6, 11, 16 and 18) are responsible for approximately 70 percent of cervical cancer cases and 90 percent of genital wart cases in the United States” (p.28). Being that most cervical cancer cases are linked to HPV, this vaccine has the potential to be life changing. People that contract HPV, often do not receive any type of symptoms, which could pose a severe problem because they will not seek medical care. This type of negligence has led to staggering demographics in the past. Senior policy associate at Guttmacher Institute, Cynthia Dailard (2006) adds on to prior statistics listed by Temte; she argues “That three in four Americans contract HPV at some point in their lives, with most cases acquired after individuals have sex for the first time. Still, the American Cancer Society states that in 2006, almost 10,000 cases of invasive cervical cancer occurred in American women, resulting in 3,700 deaths” (p.131). The numbers are mind-boggling, but they are continuously rising each year. However, as mentioned early on advocates affirm that pharmaceutical companies have become proactive upon the issue and introduced an HPV vaccine to the public. In 2006, an HPV vaccine/cervical cancer vaccine known as Gardasil was put on the market. Gardasil has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing not only genital warts, but certain strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer as well.
Those in favor of the HPV vaccine declare that the overall administration of the vaccine employs several benefits. When teenage girls receive the vaccine it is administered three times over a six month term. After this period, they will never receive HPV immunizations again. The HPV vaccination will last them for the rest of...

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