Hate to say I told you so on HPV, but …

- October 17th, 2012

Contrary to what we’ve been told by Catholic school trustees, and the bishop, in Calgary, that giving the girls in their schools the vaccine to prevent HPV runs counter to what they like to teach about sex and promiscuity, yet another study has proven them wrong.

It does not lead to promiscuity. Full stop. As I, and many others, mentioned when this issue was first addressed.

Bishop Fred Henry is of the belief that girls who have received the vaccine are led down the path to risky behaviour, and that’s not what his schools should be teaching.

He may not like to call them his schools, but as they take quite a bit of guidance from him, I’m sticking with that description.

Anyway, this study is just one in a line of others that prove the opposite of what Henry and the Catholic trustees have been saying.

Do I think they’ll change their tune? No. Sadly.

In fact, the new spin coming from other vaccine opponents would seem to give Henry more ammo, however faulty, should he choose to use it.

Some are now suggesting that the real issue is that if these girls are not promiscuous, then why should we be giving them a shot.

The same reason we give other vaccines: prevention. The vaccine can, with quite a bit of success, prevent young women from getting HPV should they come into contact with the virus at any point in their lives. Getting it to them before they become sexually active, whether it’s at 16 or 26, makes the most sense.

Same goes for boys, should they decide to make it available to them as well.

But hey, why let logic rule the day?

Categories: Politics

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8 comments

  1. Bert says:

    Whew! Thank gawd we have Dave to show us the way. Dave, if an HIV vaccine ever came out would you take it? You’re not a drug users, we assume don’t engage is unprotected gay sex, but…. would you get the shot? It’s all about prevention, right? Just wonderin’. (I can’t believe I visit the Sun Web site.)

  2. deap in Kingston says:

    Wondering if Dave has grade-school daughter(s).

  3. Ryan says:

    You can get HIV in other ways than homosexual sex and drug use. But hey why let facts ruin a perfectly good religious zealots rant.

  4. Art says:

    Here is an example of selectively choosing a study that supports your world view and giving it a pass without critical analysis for bias. I truly do not know if vaccinations really increase chances of sexual activity, but I think they do. I would certainly change my mind if someone could prove it but sorry to say this study does not prove otherwise. Here’s why.

    The study tracks girls starting at 11 years old to 12 years old for three years and monitors if their rate of sexual activity and/or STD’s increases after HPV vaccination. There are problems with how the author has interpreted the study results so much so that I doubt he even read it beyond viewing the headline he wanted to so much to prove himself right!.

    At the conclusion of the study the girls were 14 to 15 years old. The sexual activity rate for US girls under 15 is about 25%. The sexual activity rate spikes to 40% by 16 and 77% by 19. This speaks to the fact that as girls get older, they simply range farther from home and out from under the watchfull eye and control of their parents. If you’ve been a teen, then you know exactly what the magic of a drivers license does for your freedom. Therefore, it is totally logical that the rates of sexual activity remain flat in the under 15 cohort studied. Also, while I can’t find the statistics, I would wager most of the 25% occurs for girls in the 15 year old category, meaning the study is tracking girls at 11, 12, 13, 14 for at least two years, who have little probability of having sex.

    The conclusions state that the risk of the composite outcome is ‘not significantly elevated; indicating little clinically meaningful absolute risk differences.’ Therefore, they certainly admit there was an increase but not clinically significant. What does that mean exactly? Again, the girls aged 11-14 will skew the results in favor of this conclusion. What of the girls who ended the study at 15? Did they have an increase the rate? Very probably as the older you get, the more likely you have the opportunity to have sex as I’ve explained above. However, the study chose not to highlight this.

    There are a few more irksome items the author chose to ignore..

    Risk Theory – for the same reasons that people who drive SUV’s more aggressively as there is less fear of being hurt given their size, vaccinations simply must provide some level of comfort to the recipient, and increase the likelihood they will partake in risky behavior . Will HPV vaccination alone, increase the chances then? Maybe. Will a suite of vaccinations increase the likelihood? Probably. This is how human behavior works, including impulsive teens.

    Who sponsored it – The study was done by a managed health care provider, not independent researchers. This should be highlighted as much as Imperial Oil concluding that ocean drilling is good for the environment. This provider (and all providers too) feel they will benefit by increasing the amount of…

  5. Art says:

    vaccinations provided and thus having to shell out less money down the road. There is nothing wrong with this, nor is this exclusively reason to believe that their methods aren’t valid, but could explain why they chose the cohort they did.

    Data Collection : It isn’t clear about the actual process of data collection. It simply states : ‘Data on health plan enrollment, vaccination history, and sexual activity– related outcomes of interest were obtained from clinical/administrative and laboratory databases..’ Unless this data was collected anonymously, then this study has very little credibility since 12 to 15 year olds aren’t the first to freely admit they had sex lest it ‘goes on their record’ or their parents find out. The study does not state this so I suspect the data was voluntary and not anonymously captured.

    Other studies – The author mentions that this is ‘yet another study’ that supports this claim. Yet another? Really? What other studies? Have you actually read them before reporting them? Did you apply one iota of critical thinking to these? This study itself cites previous studies that support this finding, yet goes on to describes how they aren’t all that valid. So the study he’s extolling, which could very well be found to be invalid for the reasons above, has gone on record to invalidate other studies!

    In all, this is the sad state of journalism today. Most graduate through school without any math and critical thinking skills and simply report the stories they want to hear. I expect more of this from a ‘Deputy-Editor’ so that I don’t have to spend a morning of my busy schedule correcting his work.

  6. Kevin says:

    Injecting anything into our bodies for the sake of profits for some pharmaceutical company is something I’m not willing to risk on myself or my children. The side effects listed by the company include:

    pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, fainting, difficulty breathing, wheezing (bronchospasm), hives, rash, swollen glands (neck, armpit, or groin), joint pain, unusual tiredness, weakness, confusion, chills, generally feeling unwell, leg pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, aching muscles, muscle weakness, seizure, bad stomach ache, bleeding or bruising more easily than normal

    The young girls that have died (Jenny Tetlock, Moshella Roberts, Brooke Petkevicius, Christina Richelle Tarsell, Amber Kaufman, Megan Hild, Santana G. Valdez, Jessica Ericzon, Jasmin Soriat and many others not mentioned here) after taking this foreign substance into their bodies, does not show up on a balance sheet.

    These companies knowingly release chemicals into our systems expecting our bodies to fight these side effects, but many people’s immune systems can’t handle it for various other reasons. It comes down to profits verses the cost of insurance for the law suits. Unfortunately these companies have unlimited resources to bury or scare off most law suits.

    Side effects are the body’s way of saying, that something is not right. Pharmaceutical companies are not taking the entire body into consideration. They focus on one small area and make a cost effective solution to reduce symptoms, stop a natural function or mask the problem .

    “For ethical reasons, younger girls were not included in the trials as they would have been required to have regular Pap tests, which would have been inappropriate given their age.” So this HPV injection was not even tested on young girls who are just starting to have hormonal changes.

    Giving the injection to our young children, gives them a false sense of security. Thank goodness we have an organization that is willing to speak out against the sexualization of our children and take the time to look at the larger picture.

    By the way, Bert makes an excellent comment.

  7. James (no, not Jim) says:

    Mmmm, I agree that HIV can be contracted in a multitude of ways. I fail to see how Ryan connects Bert with religion, however. I would assume the opposite, actually, by the use of “gawd” over “God”.

    By Ryan’s logic, therefore, anyone who disagrees with him must be a religious zealot? But hey, why let facts ruin a perfectly good bigot’s rant.

    My personal belief is that parents should be able to opt in or opt out, in the interests of their child. And, if theory, parents can… if you want them to get the shot, then send them to public schools. If want to send them to Catholic schools, then, by definition, you agree to the rules they set which means they don’t get the shots. Don’t like the rule? Simple, change school systems.

    Having said THAT, whether funding of said school should be provided by tax-payers is completely another issue.

  8. Rose Penlington says:

    I was ashamed to learn neither Calgary paper found the time to attend a media event held by the HPV Association. There a panel of experts could have answered all the facts parents needed to know, as well as myself and another women that could open your eyes as to the consequences of getting the HPV virus & cervical cancer. I got the virus from an unfaithful first husband, the other lady was sexually abused. Though we followed all the moral rules, we were infected anyway. Can you guarantee that this or rape will never happen to your daughter? In Canada 1 in 3 girls & 1 in 6 boys are molested by the age of 18. 35% in grades 7-12.

    If cost is your issue with the vaccine, consider the fact that the other woman on the panel stated that her health problems has cost your health care system at least $2,000,000.00 to date. It is not a dirty or shameful affliction & many women suffer horrendous & life long disabilities from it.

    So you don’t agree with whats in the vaccine, that’s fine too just say NO. Teach your children abstinence, inform yourself about the vaccine, sign a consent form to op in or out ,but allow it in the schools. I know that I would rather be a parent that can possibly save my child’s life or years of suffering, than be the parent that can’ t go back in time to save their daughter. I get angry when people suggest to go somewhere else to get the vaccine.Why are we denied what the rest of Canada is allowed. Why should I make an appointment costing health care more money all because of one Bishops opinion.

    The real problem in this issue is the Bishop and the Separate School Board. Four years ago I approached them about changing their minds.Shockingly I learned that the good Bishop is the only man making the decision for all the Catholics as he will this time as well. He advised the trustees that if they went against his wishes he would pull his support starting with the removal the priests in the schools. Next I spoke with 5 trustees and was told that the board actually supported the use of the vaccine for the students, but they would not go against the Bishops wishes.

    Most Bishops across Canada allow it in their schools, this tells me his reasons are personal and not backed by the clergy. We now know it has nothing to do with promiscuity and that teaching alone isn’t enough. We’ve been given a gift, in any other circumstance we would be celebrating an advance in fighting cancer.

    As a personal note to Bishop Henry” I am more than an, unfortunate casualty, as you called me. I am one in many whose life is as sacred as your own.

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