Ian Frazer (born January 6th, 1953) is an Australian immunologist, best known for his work on the development of a cervical cancer vaccine, which works by protecting women from Human papillomavirus (HPV). In January 2006 he was named Australian of the Year. — Source:Wikipedia
Now, this is a vacine, not a cure. It will only protect you if you get vacinated prior to exposure. HPV is a STD transferred regardless of condom use. It is also transferred mother-to-child in the birth canal.
In another example of misogynistic intervention, the Christian Right in the USA is opposing mandatory vaccination against the Human papillomavirus vaccine. I can imagine economists wanting to block it (at USD$300-$500 per patient), but they’d have no leg to stand on (USA: 4K deaths/pa @$1m each =$4b; that buys you 8m-12m vacinations per annum, which is more than the number of people you’d be looking to vacinate – figures go higher if you count number of non-fatal cancer cases, lower if you lower the value of the affected lives). The administration in the US is leaning towards the Christian Right’s views.
Katha Pollitt thinks that blocking this vaccine is the stupidist thing imaginable:
Raise your hand if you think that what is keeping girls virgins now is the threat of getting cervical cancer when they are 60 from a disease they’ve probably never heard of.
She rants like someone who cares. Cares a lot. Read her article.
“Sailorman” says that by not mandating this vaccine, the US government isn’t being rational:
I am a parent. And I confess that even though I KNOW the statistics, saying “sex” and relating it to “your 10 year old daughter” gives me the heebie-jeebies. But you bet your ass I’d have her in there for the shot.
He then goes on to give a detailed logical analysis that leads to the same conclusion as Katha Pollitt’s “Raise your hand” opinion.
CSL (an Aussie company) have been trying to make this vaccine fly:
CSL is working with Merck and Co. Inc (USA) to develop a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine is based on proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology developed at the University of Queensland. This technology produces virus-shaped particles which mimic the real virus to produce a safe and effective immune response. The vaccine has four VLP components covering the HPV types 16, 18, 6 and 11. Following smaller scale clinical trials, the vaccine is now in advanced trials aimed at demonstrating its safety and effectiveness in tens of thousands of subjects.
I wonder what the Australian government’s position on this is? What would you guess? After all, Ian Frazer was named Australian of the Year.
Update: In 2007 the vaccine was listed in Australia for teenage females, and from February 2013 all 12 and 13 year olds are immunised.