Too Many Women Being Tested for HPV

(C) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

I know I just recently wrote an article about the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. I actually debated with myself as to whether I should write another one…quite so soon.

I mean, people will likely say that I am merely on a crusade against Merck pharmaceutical’s HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in protecting people against viruses that can cause cancer. The problem lies in really having some great, documented proof of the success of a vaccine…as well as significantly low side effects.

(And none of the side effects, ‘adverse events,’ should even remotely be life threatening!)

Sadly, one can’t say that regarding Gardasil.

I was doing some reading, and in an article written by Ginevra Pittman, published on Medscape, and entitled “Too Many Women Get HPV Tests: Study” the author says that according to a new study, “Doctors are testing women for human papillomavirus, or HPV, more often than guidelines recommend.” More than that, “The researchers say that in young women, a positive test gives very little information, since HPV is common in women in their 20’s and probably won’t lead to cancer.”

“There’s a much greater emphasis on avoiding a single cancer versus literally thousands of women being over-screened and over-treated,” said Philip Castle from the American Society for Clinical Pathology in Chicago, whose commentary on the new study was published along with it on June 20th in Obstetrics & Gynecology.”

What’s going on here?

I don’t like the idea of assuming that all these women are being over-tested and over-treated because the doctors are in collusion with the pharmaceutical companies.

There’s no doubt that various HPV strains can cause rare forms of cancer, genital warts etc. (The strains for one do not cause the other.) However, it is also true that in the vast majority of cases, the body’s own immune system fights off the HPV virus over a period of about two years.

So again…why the HUGE push to get pre-teen girls vaccinated with Gardasil? Why are doctors pushing to have women tested for HPV infection so strenuously? Do they know something that isn’t being published? Probably not.

In all reality, I think doctors by and large are being duped by the hype.

Merck Pharmaceutical which makes Gardasil is repped by Cohn & Wolfe, which also represents Allergan, Genzyme, Sanofi-Aventis, and Boehringer-Ingelheim. They also represented Time Warner as of 2010.

If you don’t think the pharmaceutical companies have the cash to call in the big advertizing guns, you’ve been living on another planet.

The pharmaceutical companies’ claims are spun by some of the best PR magicians around.


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