July Wilymen

Marketing the HPV Vaccines to Prevent Cervical Cancer

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HPV vaccines have been promoted to the public as a ‘vaccine to prevent cervical cancer’ (a non-infectious disease) yet these vaccines have never been demonstrated to prevent any cervical cancer. Six years after the HPV vaccine was implemented globally, Ian Frazer, the Australian inventor of the vaccine, stated ‘HPV vaccines may prevent cervical cancer.’ This is why the health department only refers to this vaccine as an ‘HPV vaccine’. In 2007 when the vaccine was approved for all women in many countries it was also known that there were 15 plus high-risk HPV strains that were associated with causing cervical cancer. Yet the HPV vaccine, Gardasil®, only covered 2 strains that were associated with cervical cancer – HPV 16 and 18 – the other 2 strains in the vaccine were associated with causing genital warts. This means there are 13 other high-risk HPV strains that are not covered in the Gardasil® vaccine and this is why vaccinated women will still require regular Pap screening.

Low Risk for Cancer

Women were also not informed that an infection with HPV is harmless and does not cause disease – cancer or warts – unless other co-factors are also present. These co-factors are not prevalent in developed countries. This is why Ian Frazer stated in 2005 ‘80-90% of cervical cancer occurs in the developing countries’. Not countries like Australia, Europe and the US. These countries have a low risk of cervical cancer. In Australia the death rate to cervical cancer when the vaccine was introduced in 2007 was 1.7 women /100,000. Pap screening combined with surgery is effective (9 out of 10 cancers) in detecting and preventing cervical cancer – and Pap screening will still be needed by vaccinated women. This means that it is not cost-effective for governments to be subsidizing the HPV vaccine when we already have an effective detection and prevention (surgery) in place that is virtually risk free.

HPV is Common

HPV is a common infection in all women. 80% of healthy women will have an HPV infection during their lifetime but this is harmless unless the co-factors are present that are necessary for the development of disease. In a developed country the risk of dying from cervical cancer is 0.25% but in developing countries it is 1.5%. Whilst the pharmaceutically funded marketing campaign informed women of the high incidence of HPV infection (80%) in women it did not inform women that the majority of these women are not at risk of developing cervical cancer or warts. The Australian Government states that the majority of women with an HPV infection are not at risk of cervical cancer.

This means that a drug has been recommended to all women but the majority of these women are not at risk of disease. However, many are now at risk from the side-effects of the vaccine. The government has not reduced the risk of disease with this policy but possibly increased the risk – at great expense. HPV vaccines are the most expensive vaccine on the market – $Au450 – yet the risks and benefits of this vaccine are still undetermined. The clinical trials had not been completed when the vaccine was approved for the market by the FDA in 2006. The safety of this vaccine has never been established.

The HPV vaccine had not been tested using an inert placebo in the unvaccinated group. The Merck funded clinical trial used aluminium adjuvant as the placebo in the unvaccinated group – this is a substance that is linked to causing autoimmune diseases and hypersensitivity. Comparing the vaccinated group to a group that is given aluminium adjuvant does not provide information on the harm this vaccine will cause in healthy people. The most frequent adverse reactions caused by this vaccine are neurological reactions such as seizures, convulsions, paralysis, tics, encephalopathy and thyroiditis. Many deaths have also been linked to the vaccine.

There were 21,265 adverse events reported to the US FDA and CDC alone up to September 2012. Many of these included permanent chronic illness and death. In 2013 the governments of India and Japan are no longer recommending this vaccine to the community.

This vaccine has only been trialled by the manufacturer of the vaccine, Merck, and it was promoted to the public by a campaign that was designed and funded by the manufacturer of the vaccine. In 2006 Merck won the ‘Brand of the Year’ for Gardasil® for creating a market out of thin air for this vaccine.

For the full report published in Infectious Agents and Cancer: HPV vaccination programs have not been shown to be cost-effective in countries with comprehensive Pap screening and surgery. Judy Wilyman’s research is being presented at the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication.

Participate in Research

Hormones MatterTM is conducting research on the side effects and adverse events associated with Gardasil and its counterpart Cervarix. If you or your daughter has had either HPV vaccine, please take this important survey. The Gardasil Cervarix HPV Vaccine Survey.

To take one of our other Real Women. Real Data.TM surveys, click here.

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Judy Wilyman MSc, is a PhD Candidate studying Population Health Policy at the University of Wollongong (UOW) School of Social Sciences, Wollongong, Australia. She is the founder of Vaccination Decisions, a website that she has set up to present her research.

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