Reading For Comprehension

Humor me and read the following abstract of a study:

Background The GARDASIL long-term follow-up (LTFU) study is an ongoing extension of a pivotal randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 4-year study to investigate the safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) on the incidence of HPV 16/18-related cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2 or worse in 16–23-year-old women (Protocol 015).

Methods Follow-up of subjects will be accomplished in two ways: (1) registry-based follow-up for effectiveness data as well as safety data including but not limited to deaths, cancer, and hospitalisations; (2) active follow-up for blood collection for immunogenicity assessments at years 5 and 10 of the LTFU study. Effectiveness and safety analyses will occur approximately 2 years following completion of Protocol 015 and approximately every 2 years thereafter for 10 years. The current report represents the first of these efficacy and safety analyses. Cohort 1 included approximately 2700 subjects who received qHPV vaccine at the start of Protocol 015. Cohort 2 consists of approximately 2100 subjects who received placebo at the start of Protocol 015 and qHPV vaccine prior to entry into the LTFU. Vaccine effectiveness against HPV 16/18-related CIN 2 or worse was estimated by calculating the expected incidence of CIN 2/3 or worse in an unvaccinated (placebo) cohort using historical registry data. The primary analysis approach was per-protocol.

Results There were 1080 subjects that contributed to the follow-up period out of a total of 2195 eligible subjects in the per-protocol population in Cohort 1. In these subjects there were no cases of HPV 16/18-related CIN 2 or worse observed. There were also no cases of HPV 6/11/16/18-related CIN, vulvar cancer, and vaginal cancer observed. However, the follow-up time in person-years is insufficient to make a definitive statement about the effectiveness of the qHPV vaccine for the current time period.

Conclusions The qHPV vaccine shows a trend of continued protection in women who were vaccinated up to 7 years previously, although there is as yet insufficient data to confirm that protection is maintained. The qHPV vaccine continues to be generally safe and well tolerated up to 6 years following vaccination.”

You can go ahead and re-read it if you didn’t quite catch something. Continue reading

US girls decide to become less slutty, wash their hands, or get vaccinated? You tell me.

The NY Times is reporting a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases where it is reported that the prevalence of HPV infection in girls ages 14 to 19 is half of what it was in 2006. So what happened? Did these girls decide to be “less slutty“? Did hygiene and sanitation finally make their way to these girls’ vaginas? No.

What happened was that anti-HPV vaccines came online in 2006, and lots of girls are getting them. Lots, but not as many as we need to sustain this decrease. We’re far behind other countries in that respect. According to CDC:

“This report shows that HPV vaccine works well, and the report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “Unfortunately only one third of girls aged 13-17 have been fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine.  Countries such as Rwanda have vaccinated more than 80 percent of their teen girls. Our low vaccination rates represent 50,000 preventable tragedies – 50,000 girls alive today will develop cervical cancer over their lifetime that would have been prevented if we reach 80 percent vaccination rates.  For every year we delay in doing so, another 4,400 girls will develop cervical cancer in their lifetimes.”

Most of you will know that HPV vaccine continues to be demonized, against all the evidence, and anti-vaccine people keep blaming deaths and disabilities on it. A presidential candidate fueled the fire based on similar misconceptions about the vaccine. But, guess what? The evidence keeps coming in. The vaccine is safe, effective, and it is cutting infections in half. Now, we need to replicate these findings in those highly-vaccinated countries to put yet another nail in the coffin of the HPV vaccine conspiracy.

It didn’t take the nutjobs long

That didn’t take long, did it? As soon as the public health authorities recommended that boys receive the HPV vaccine, the anti-vaccine crowd suddenly cried out in horror. Unfortunately, they were not suddenly silenced. (Yes, yes, it’s a Star Wars reference, and I’m sure at least one anti-vaccine nut will say that I mean they should be killed when I write “silenced”. Whatever.) Not only do these bozos not understand basic biologic, chemical, and scientific concepts, they don’t seem to understand the concept of vectors. Would you like to learn more?

Yeah, so vectors are living organisms that carry disease without necessarily suffering any ill effects themselves. Of course, I’m being humorous in calling boys vectors, but they pretty much behave that way. They go from one susceptible person (usually a girl) to another (usually another girl) carrying whatever diseases they can. Homosexuality is not THAT common for women to spontaneously catch a disease from each other – or from nowhere.

Yes, some will say that promiscuous girls will catch the diseases from their actions, but you’re not going to stand there with a serious face and tell me that boys had nothing to do with it. Boys have just as much to do with HPV transmission as girls do, if not more. One boy can have sex with many girls, while it is much less likely that one girl will have sex with many girls. (Go ahead, prove me wrong… With data.)

Still, others will say that HPV is no big deal for boys since they are lacking a cervix. No cervix, no cervical cancer, right? Well, yes, you’re right, but boys have penises, anuses, and throats. And HPV can cause cancer in all of those regions. Sure, it may not be as common as cervical cancer, but it still happens. And, because it happens, and because boys will give HPV to girls, getting the boys vaccinated against the really bad types of HPV only makes goddamn sense.

So go back to your Buddhas, your temples, your massage parlors… No, wait. That’s a song.

So go back to your blogs, Facebook groups, and “online newspapers” that are totally anti-science and anti-vaccine. You make no sense. You never have. Get back to me when you have data.