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HPV vaccine?

I saw my OB/GYN this past week and she brought up the HPV vaccine. It's been recommended for all women 26 and younger, and she predicted that there'd be a study out soon enough that would support extending the age on the recommendation. There are even news stories about it being required for girls, which brings up all sorts of other issues.

Anyway, I am 26 right now, so my doctor recommended that I call my insurance company, make sure they'll pay for all three shots (I'd have to get the last one after I turn 27), and get the vaccine. It sounds like a good idea. But there's this probably-irrational thought going on in the back of my head about it too, because it's new, and *everybody's* getting it, and I've read too many suspense novels where everybody thinks the new drug is great and something goes horribly horribly wrong. I know, kind of stupid. I was vaccinated against hepatitis (A?) several years ago and that went fine. But in a culture that's totally overdrugged right now, I can't be the only one who's paranoid.

So, I'm kind of on a poll kick lately, how about a poll?

HPV vaccine? (please only take this poll if you're female)

Got it
Getting it
Want to get it
Can't afford it
Don't want it
Haven't thought about it


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 4th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
i am technically too old for it. you don't have that as an option though. but i think that i have had so little sex and always with condoms that i am probably hpv free. but at this point in time i am not insured, so its a moot point.
Feb. 4th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
It's an extremely common error to make, but condoms don't entirely protect against HPV. They're believed to lower the transmission rate, but by no means eliminate it -- One study I've seen suggests they lower it from 89% to 37% of women infected after a year. That's still quite a healthy chance of getting HPV!

I'm quite a bit too old myself, but may ask my doctor about off-label use.
(no subject) - season - Feb. 4th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 4th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
Like you, I'm kind of paranoid about it. My OB/GYN hasn't said a word about it, though...
Feb. 4th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I would want to wait longer until it's been tested by all the early takers. :D
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 4th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
I would like to get the vaccine, but being much older than the cut-off age, I can't get it. :/
Feb. 4th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
You can still get it. It'd be "off label," i.e., it's not prescribed for that purpose, but ask your doctor and she'll probably do it for you (totally legal). You might have to pay out of pocket.
Feb. 4th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
I was in the big 4 year side effect study for HPV. I was tested on the West Coast and when I moved to Boston, I made treks to Rhode Island to finish it up. The people involved are incredibly PASSIONATE about what they are doing. They feel very strongly about the good that they are doing for women and girls. I was in the control group, so I ended up with placebo. I'd like to get it because one never knows, but my gyno has never brought it up. My gyno, being new to me and all here in NYC, she may not know. I should tell her.
Feb. 4th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
Medical student says: Please get it. It's a vaccine, not a drug, in any case. And this is real life and evidence-based medicine, not a suspense novel. :)

Here's something: the vaccine protects against the two most common genital-wart-causing strains, in addition to the two most common cancer-causing ones. I don't know about you, but I don't want genital warts if I can avoid them. And genital warts are one of the STIs that are a) incurable and b) not prevented by condoms.

I had to pay out of pocket for the vaccine and I still got it.
Feb. 4th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
If you were in college, I'd say go for it. But you're in a monogamous relationship and seem to want to stay in it permanently. What benefit would you get from it at this point?
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
thats what i was going to say. my fiance and i are monogamous and we are both STI free. we are safe with one another and only sexually active with one another. we use condoms correctly every time.

so what would be my benefit?
Feb. 4th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
They passed a law now in Texas requiring it, and if you don't get it you cant' go to school here. I think that's a good thing.
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
I hope that law has according provisions to assist those who can't afford it or are uninsured gain access to it. I would be pissed if, as a poor, uninsured college student, I was already planning to attend a school that's going to cost me three times the cost of that shot in tuition and books and yet received no financial assistance for something I'm not wholly convinced should be mandated.
(no subject) - deana_in_texas - Feb. 5th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - deana_in_texas - Feb. 5th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tabloidscully - Feb. 5th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 4th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
i'm in a monogamous relationship and plan on staying that way so i am not at risk in the first place, but i do still sort of want to get it because in my head its not just an HPV vaccine, its the HPV that causes CANCER. a cancer vaccine sounds cool to me.

and as for all those people who think giving the vaccine to young girls will turn them into sluts, they should be better parents. and anyway, when i got shots when i was young, i never knew what they were for. i just went when my mom took me and she said "they'll keep you from getting bad diseases." cool, mom. i'm in.
Feb. 4th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'm not in a relationship right now, and since I don't get drunk and sleep with random boys, I don't think I'll get it. It'd be awkward to explain to my parents, anyway. If my doctor tells me to, though, I will.
Feb. 5th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Sorry, I'm on a friend's computer so accidentally posted that from her account instead of logging myself in...

Not that I'm suggesting you will be raped, but you -could- be, and you could get it from that. Cancer is a shitty thing to get from being raped, as if being raped weren't bad enough.

Not only that as another random note, even if you specifically choose your boy and it's not random, guys don't always know that they are carrying the disease. So, I dunno. I figure better to be safe than sorry.
Feb. 4th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm married and not especially concerned with any STD. If I do end up with one, believe me, my husband will fare far worse than I!

That said, I'd encourage probably everyone I know to get it. I work in health care - I'm really pro-vaccination.
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
so will you, or have you gotten it?
(no subject) - cassieeeee - Feb. 5th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - beskippy - Feb. 5th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aliki - Feb. 6th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 4th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't quite decided yet as I'm not currently sexually active, but that it may prevent cancer is something that is hard for me to ignore as my family is slightly prone to cancer.
Part of what's holding me back, admittedly, is the stigma that comes from getting vaccinated for a sexually transmitted disease. It doesn't mean that one has to be promicuous or whatnot, but there's still that discomfort around even talking about it.
Feb. 4th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
I haven't really heard about it, so I dunno
Feb. 4th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
keep in mind that a vaccine isn't really a "drug". You're tricking your body into building antibodies against the virus, not using medicine to treat a symptom. Might seem like a minor point, but they are very different things. With the HPV vaccine - is it a live vaccine? That's the kind of question you should ask. Also, what base is the vaccine injected with - is it a high-mercury contianing base? The kind of things they won't know are how long the vaccine provides protection. Possibly the chance that your body flat-out rejects the vaccine and does nothing to build antibodies.
Feb. 5th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
From doing a bit of reading up on Gardisil, it's not a live vaccine, and they expect the vaccination to last for around 5 years.
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