Last updated HPV stands for human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted and so common, that anyone who is sexually active will contract the virus at some stage. [2] Usually nothing happens and the immune system simply deals with it. [1,2] HPV has been linked to cervical cancer through epidemiological studies. It was found that almost all patients with invasive cervical cancer also carry certain types of human papillomavirus, notably types 16 and 18. [8,11] Consequently some researchers now believe that HPV infection is the “first necessary cause” of a human cancer ever identified. In other words, prevent the infection and you prevent cancer. It would be a first and would be exciting if it wasn’t for the fact that it has already been disproved. [14] Cervical cancer constitutes 2% of cancer cases diagnosed in UK women [3] and 1% of cancer deaths, but is the second most common cancer in women worldwide.
The vaccine is meant to protect against the high-risk strains of the virus, thereby preventing the possible development of cervical cancer later on. In the USA the same vaccines are now promoted as protecting against a wide range of other cancers, such as penile and anal cancer. The evidence that HPV vaccination will save any lives is weak. A study published in 2013 puts it as follows: “We carried out a systematic review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. We find that HPV vaccine clinical trials design, and data interpretation of both efficacy and safety outcomes, were largely inadequate. Additionally, we note evidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications). Given this, the widespread optimism regarding…

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