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The HPV vaccine could save your life.

A few weeks ago, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously endorsed the use of the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

It's currently recommended for:
- all girls ages 11 and 12 (although it can be given as early as 9 years).
- all girls/women ages 13-26 who have not had the vaccine.
- women with abnormal pap smears, genital warts, or certain other conditions.

Bottom line: If you're in any of those recommended groups, urge your health care plan to include it in their coverage. Out of pocket, it's currently $125 per dose, three doses total, but the four types of HPV it protects against are often responsible for non-hereditary forms of cervical cancer.

(Read more at healthychildren: "Cervical cancer vaccine follow-up: The good and the good".)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC)
So they recommend it for people who have already had HPV symptoms (abnormal paps, etc)? I thought it was only used as a preventative. What about older women?
Jul. 12th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for writing about this. I knew it had been approved, but wasn't sure if I was in the group, and it hadn't occurred to me I probably need to ask my plan to cover it. (I'm new to the being-responsible-for-my-own-insurance thing.) I need to get to the gynecologist in the near future too, so I'll keep this on my mind when I do.
Jul. 12th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Huh, this is the first time I've seen it mention that sexually active women could take the vaccine. Before, they were only indicating people up to age 16, who were not active. The articles I had read claimed that any older, and it was too risky. I don't remember why.

Glad they're making a vaccine.
Jul. 12th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
i have mixed feelings about this; there's a part of me that feels like HPV is really preventable anyway so maybe we could also be focusing on how we can raise awareness about safer sex, etc. i haven't really fleshed out my thoughts...i just know i'm a bit skeptical.

interestingly, though, i know that merck is running trials on gay men to test the vaccine. so they're not only looking at cervical cancer but also anogenital cancer and warts.
Jul. 12th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'm excited about this vaccine, but I haven't seen anything yet saying it's good for anybody over age 20 or who may already have it. Where did you read that?

As somebody who got cervical cancer from HPV, which turned into uterine cancer and ended up losing an ovary, I have a keen interest in Gardasil preventing anybody else from going through what I have.
Jul. 13th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
They've put the cattle call out for it nationally a few weeks back, but in checking this area, the doctors do not even have it in stock and have no idea when they will have it--if at all.

So, WTF?

I also share the fear that others have mentioned--the unknown in years to come.

I have a son with permanent brain damage due to a measles booster vaccine. And, even if you have the reserve and patience to sue the national government/pharm. companies, many states outlaw it. Mine is one.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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