Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.

HPV / February 7, 2007

I saw an article a couple weeks ago, about the ‘new’ HPV vaccine. And there was a blurb in the very last paragraph that really bothered me. But it felt like just that: a little incendiary bit with little actual factual support designed to inflame the passions and inflate the subscriber base for a few days.
But no. Weeks later and the little bit is taking over the story.
The HPV vaccine, in case you haven’t heard, is a vaccine against the human papilloma virus. HPV is responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. (There are over 40 types of HPV. The vaccine addresses 4 of them). The numbers are staggering. At least 50 percent of sexually active people in the US get HPV at some time in their lives. For a more detailed description, check out BWHI’s program on HPV.
So we have a vaccine against at least a small portion of cancers. Cancer is the great monster that lurks in the dark. And we have one more small stone we can now throw at it. Having been declared safe by all the big alphabet-soup government agencies, many school districts and states are considering adding the vaccination to their list of required shots for girls for school attendance.
But the problem is that there’s people protesting the recommended requirement. And more than anyone, I’m fine with dissent and disagreement. Protest the testing methods they used. Protest that there’s not enough long-term knowledge of it’s effects or efficiency. I might even help you protest that the government should not be dictating what you do with your own body. Protest that required vaccines are actually government mind-control drugs, if it makes you feel better. But no… the protest that is taking over this story is by conservative *cough*ignorant*cough*, family-values *cough*orwellian*cough* organizations, claiming that this vaccine will encourage sexual activity in minors.
Oh.
Mah.
Gawd.
Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. I could ignore the horrible state of what we call sexual education in this country, that involves a lot of enforced ignorance and very little education. I could ignore the fact that anyone could believe a vaccination is going to encourage any little child to go out and get freaky. I could ignore the fact that someone could believe it takes ANYTHING to make a teenager horny. I could almost ignore the fact that they feel hiding any issue from someone is ever better than addressing it. But I can not ignore the fact that even if you could subscribe to all of the above ideas, you’re willing to let someone suffer and die from horrendous diseases, all in the name of God and moral values. Where is the moral righteousness in preventable death?

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2 thoughts on “HPV

  1. Remember, your mother could have used this vacine! As someone who has had cervical cancer, I truely beleive in this vacine and would love to see it required of all young girls. I am only sorry your sister is too “mature” to receive it.

  2. I’d be happy seeing it “offered” to all girls. I think requiring it for school is a bit much, especially seen as how casual contact within a school setting wouldn’t transmit the virus, and I don’t like any “mandate”.
    But of course, to refuse to offer it on the moral grounds is what upset me.

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