Friday, May 14, 2010

So Much For Responsible Journalists

In researching the internet over this past week for new information regarding HPV and HPV research, I came across the equivalent of an "Ask Abbey" section in the Montreal Gazette written by Josey Vogels. The question and answer were framed under the heading of: Three in Four Sexually Active People Infected With HPV. The link is below:(

Anyone writing for public consumption including myself, has an obligation to research the information we provide and to be diligent in our research. It matters not the subject, whether the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or HPV we owe it to those who read our words to convey accuracy and above all, the truth.

Ms. Vogels states that there is currently no vaccine available for men. I might have accepted that if it were not for the fact that this issue of the paper was dated May 12, 2010, only two days ago. If it had been written last summmer, the statement would have been true for the United States. The FDA only approved Gardasil for use in boys and men last September. Gardasil was approved in the US, by the European Commission and has been in use in Canada since 2006 for girls. But, on February 23rd of this year, Health Canada approved Gardasil for boys and men. A simple Google search would have revealed this information. Instead, many Canadians, as well as international readers such as myself, are being lead to believe there is no vaccine for males. There is and it is approved in Canada.

Why is this irresponsible, because a young man who may be interested in receiving the vaccine will think he cannot. Use in men is also limited to those under 27 as it is in women. Some physicians will provide the vaccine beyond the age limits imposed by the FDA and insurance companies although the patient typically must pay for this themselves. This is true for women as well.

Given the prevelence of HPV, something Ms. Vogels WAS aware of, being so lax in the dissemination of this misinformation is one of the problems, especially when the facts are so readily accessible. Shameful.