Reduction in HPV prevalence?

[SaneVax: Following is an excerpt from a letter to the editor of The Journal of Infectious Diseases that provides a critique of a scientific study used to demonstrate the success of HPV vaccination programs in the United States. Evidently, things are not so cut and dried as the CDC would like us to believe.]

Reduction in HPV Prevalence—No Evidence to Support HPV Vaccination reduces HPV Prevalence

Authors: Jennifer A. Groner1George D. Harris2 and Diane M. Harper3,4,5

TO THE EDITOR—The recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study by Markowitz et al [1] provides limited and inconclusive data on 111 sexually active females between 14 and 19 years of age who received at least 1 dose of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4). The broad ranging conclusions are inconsistent with current knowledge about risk factors for HPV infection and HPV prevalence among US adolescents, herd immunity, and vaccine efficacy evaluation with fewer than 3 doses.

The single most important risk factor for HPV infection, after human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, is number of lifetime sexual partners [2]. Markowitz’s study aligns with this knowledge by showing for the 2007–2010 (postvaccination) time frame, a 4-fold increase in HPV prevalence among sexually active 14–19-year olds who have 3 or more lifetime sexual partners compared to those with fewer than 3 partners.

However, the study reports an adolescent cohort composed of twice as many adolescents who are both unvaccinated and minimally sexually active (hence, likely to have a low prevalence of HPV infection) as are vaccinated and highly sexually active. Combining these 2 groups lowers the overall reported postvaccination HPV prevalence leading to the false conclusion that vaccination lowered the HPV prevalence rates.

Read the entire letter here.

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