Little White Lies on the HPV Vaccines (but Here’s the Truth)

 Written by Will Blesch

Copyright, 2011

With Republican candidates fighting with each other publicly over certain state laws that mandate HPV vaccinations for girls, Politics surrounding the HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix have hit a fever pitch over the past few months.

Really, why shouldn’t it? This is a subject worthy of debate. Any voice that speaks out against the vaccines has a tendency to get drowned out, or poo-poohed by “experts” in the media.

However, the fact of the matter is that the HPV vaccines are now being pushed for pre-teen girls AND boys and many parents want to know why.

The government and drug companies seem to many (and I feel rightly so) to be pushing nothing more than hype and scare tactics designed to put billions more dollars into the the drug companies’ coffers.

Governmental organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended these vaccinations and have been casting the debate as a struggle between scientific evidence and religious/cultural perceptions.

(Oh, you stupid, ignorant masses! Gosh…you and your cultural perceptions are so annoying! Don’t you know that these vaccines SAVE lives and prevent CANCER! Wow, your religious idiocy really ticks us off!)

However, these government organizations that SHOULD be looking out for you, the little guy and your family don’t bother to tell you some other facts regarding the HPV vaccines, or indeed, HPV in general. Therefore, I will.

Here is the truth.

Statistically, only a tiny fraction of women ends up with cervical cancer. An even smaller number die from it. A majority of those infected with HPV recover from the infection naturally with no medical intervention whatsoever.

So what is going on?

On one end of the spectrum we have quotes like these coming from Florida pediatrician, Dr. Eehab Kenawy “Parents tend to think about it in the sense that it might be giving their kids an OK to do things that they would not necessarily religiously or culturally believe in.”

On the other, we have statements like these from more conservative doctors like Dr. George Davis, a physician at the Callan Family Care Center “If it works, it’s great; if it has side effects we don’t yet know about, it could be bad. Although it has been tested for FDA approval, we sometimes don’t know all of the side effects until a certain amount of time has passed,” he said. (indenews.com).

In the event that one does become infected, it “may” be a good thing to receive a measure of protection against any of the strains of HPV that the vaccines protect against.

Right?

However, the fact of the matter is that Gardasil is not 100% effective in protecting against HPV transmission. Moreover, there have been a total of 20,096 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination: 19,075 reports among females and 569 reports for males, of which 504 reports were received after the vaccine was licensed for males in October 2009. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.)

In addition, many parents simply do not believe their children, especially male children, are in danger.

For instance, most doctors are not giving out information that cancers caused by HPV in men are due to homosexual activity, and the burden of disease resides in males who engage in oral and anal sex with other men.

Men who have sex with men are about 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than men who only have sex with women.”(CDC)

Nevertheless, Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). While efforts have focused on prevention of HPV, there is currently no cure.

The vaccine is not a cure.

Let’s look at some numbers too, shall we?

There are an estimated 307,006,550 people in the United States. Let’s divide this number by 2, which will give us the 50% of people who could acquire an HPV infection sometime during their lives. That leaves us with 153,503,275 people that will likely be infected with HPV.

So, let’s divide 153,503,275 by 2 assuming that of this number, half are women. This leaves us with 76,751,637. Of those, only 12,000 will be diagnosed with cervical cancer caused by HPV, and of those, 4,000 will die.

That’s 0.02% (rounded up) diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of that number, 33.3% will die.

That’s 0.005% of the numbers of HPV infected women in America.

Obviously, just one person dying is too many. However, you can see from the numbers that HPV caused cervical cancer deaths are extremely low.

Let’s look at the numbers for men.

Again, assuming that half of the 153,503,275 people infected with HPV are men that leaves us with 76,751,637 people. Of those, around 5,000 might be diagnosed with anal cancer.

Of those, 770 will die.

That’s 0.01% (rounded up) of those men infected with HPV that are diagnosed with anal cancer. Of that extremely small number, 15.4% will die.

In overall numbers,  of those men infected with HPV, 0.001% will actually die.

So…someone want to tell me WHY these vaccines are being pushed to the point of being MANDATED by state governments?

What’s that? Ohhhhhh…the drug companies are going to make HOW much? Remember folks, Gardasil costs $150 per dose…and to get fully immunized, each boy and girl is supposed to get 3 doses.

You do the math.

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Treatment for AIDS: Crucial Speech Given By Clinton

 

Copyright 2011, by Will Blesch

Everyone’s always talking about when there will be a new, effective treatment for AIDS.

Well, besides the new DRACO line of drugs being developed by the Massachusettes Institute of Technology, (which really sounds amazing, by the way) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is talking about ending the AIDS epidemic and creating an AIDS free generation.

(Because I am hyped on the DRACO thing, you can learn more about the DRACO line of drugs, here:

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/antiviral-0810.html )

While the ideas Mrs. Clinton is espousing don’t have much to do with one, super treatment for AIDS, these ideas have a lot to do with prevention combined with treatment.

Hillary said that “an AIDS-free generation is possible if the world makes the most of proven preventive interventions.” She said this on November 8th (yesterday) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

She believes this is possible using three strategies in particular. First, by accelerating treatment for AIDS, then by ending transmission of HIV from mothers to children, and finally by broadening the numbers of men who voluntarily have a circumcision.

Much of these preventive efforts are focused on sub-saharan Africa because over 70% of AIDS and AIDS related deaths occur in this area. Treatment for AIDS is still relatively expensive, and this is one of the world’s poorest locations.

Creating an AIDS-free generation “is possible because of scientific advances largely funded by the United States and new practices put in place by this administration and our many partners,” Clinton said. “While the finish line is not yet in sight, we know we can get there, because now we know the route we need to take.”

I think this is really commendable…and I also think it’s the right route to take. There has been enough suffering and heartache due to the virus that causes AIDS.

The goal of an AIDS free world is a worthy one, and it’s one I’d like to see achieved in my lifetime.


Who Else Wants to Know the Secret to Reducing Salt Intake?

Copyright 2011, by Will Blesch

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that if you are like most Americans, you should consume less sodium. A healthy salt intake is something like 1,500 mg a day or less.

Why should you keep your salt intake down?

Because, for some people, a diet high in salt can lead to elevated blood pressure. It can also increase your risk for experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Certain people actually are at greater risk. If you’re African American, over 40, or already have high blood pressure…your risks for developing these ailments are much higher if you also consume a lot of salt in your diet.

However, what do you do when you are like me, someone who loves salty foods? I mean, if you like potato chips, sour pickles, trail mix, and you find yourself almost always salting your food…how do you keep your daily salt intake down?

  • When shopping, read the labels on the food you are thinking of buying. Look for labels that say “low sodium” etc.
  • Well, first thing’s first. Don’t add salt to your food as it is cooking. Let everyone salt his or her own food at the table.
  • When you reach for the saltshaker, you “could” smack your hand. “No! Bad hand! Bad!” On the other hand, you could take the saltshaker, pour out a little bit…about a pinch…and then add that to your dish.
  • When dining out, make sure to ask the chef to cook your food without salt.
  • Buy and use herbs, spices, lemon juice etc. Things with strong flavors can help decrease your yearning for salt.
  • You can choose to crunch on fresh fruits and vegetables more often.

I’ve chosen to start lowering my own sodium intake. You should probably do the same! For info directly from the CDC, feel free to check out their info here:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/sodium/

 

 

 

 


West Nile Virus in the U.S.

copywrite 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Hello readers! I’ve been out and haven’t updated this blog in a few weeks but I’m back with a posting on the West Nile Virus. Although summer is coming to a close and fall is almost upon us…this is still relevant.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) it appears that the West Nile virus has spread through much of the United States with most cases being reported in Arizona and New York respectively. If you live in either state you should take extra precautions. However, even if you don’t live in either state you should remember that cases of the virus have been reported in virtually all states.

But, how do you know whether mosquitos in your area are carriers? Should you even worry about it?

These blood suckers make war on you…you gotta fight back.

Whether the West Nile Virus is in your area or not, mosquitos are known carriers of various diseases including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, the West Nile Virus, Western Equine Encephalitis, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Rift Valley Fever, and Yellow Fever.

Thankfully, most species in the U.S. don’t carry most of these. But the West Nile Virus has become a different story.

The CDC also suggests that you should report dead birds to your local authorities. This is because dead birds might be sign that the West Nile Virus is circulating between birds and mosquitos in your area. Over 130 species of birds are known to be affected by the West Nile Virus.

You should mosquito proof your house. Dump out standing water as it is prime breeding ground for mosquitos. They lay their eggs in standing water.

Carry around a fly-swatter in the house!

Evening and early morning (dusk and dawn) are the times of day that most people are bitten by these tiny vampires. Be sure to use repellant and/or clothing that covers a majority of your body. This will reduce the likelihood of being bitten.

Mosquito repellants should contain DEET, Picaridin, or oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

Finally, find out what steps your community is taking through Mosquito Control Programs. You can also look up the American Mosquito Control Association online for more advice and references.

 

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factsheet.htm


New FDA Approved Treatment for Scorpion Stings

(C) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Over the course of my life I have been stung by scorpions twice. Nasty little buggers! Thankfully, I was never stung by one of the 25, deadly species of scorpions known to man. Each time I was stung, I was living in the south western United States. I don’t know what the exact species was…I just know I got stung…and then the scorpion got dead.

The only deadly species that’s found in New Mexico is the Bark Scorpion…and I believe it is only found in the western part of the state.

(It also happens to be the only deadly scorpion native to North America.)

Good news for me since I lived, at the time, in the eastern portion of New Mexico. Gawd awful, ugly place. Never want to live there again.

But, I digress.

Since scorpions can be found on almost every major land mass, they pose at least some medical risk to the people that live there. That risk is mostly to the very young, the very old, or those with compromised immune systems.

I wouldn’t normally talk about scorpions, spiders or any other creepy crawly sort of thing, but the FDA just approved a new treatment for scorpion stings. Since I normally write about general and alternative health matters, I felt that this was a worthy topic for today.

The treatment is called Anascorp. It’s Manufactured by Instituto Bioclon.  Anascorp, is an injection made from the plasma of horses immunized with scorpion venom.

FDA approval is based on results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 15 children with neurological signs and scorpion stings. The injection will be distributed by Accredo Health Group, a subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions.

The interesting thing about this treatment is that it is designed specifically (to my knowledge) to deal with the stings of scorpions from the Centruroides family of scorpions of which the Bark Scorpion is a member.

ok…now that I am thoroughly creeped out just by talking about these creatures, I’m going to go do something else and try to forget about them.

*Shudder.*