Opinion

January 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A researcher who has been a consultant for the manufacturers of the controversial Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine has conducted a study using money from the one of the companies that purports to show that boys are more likely to contract oral HPV than girls.

Dr. Maura L. Gillison, a professor at Ohio State University who has worked as a consultant for Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, was the “principal researcher” for the study, which was itself funded partly by Merck.  She is not being coy about the conclusions she wants the public to draw from the results.

“The new data should give parents more to think about as they consider whether to vaccinate their children—especially their sons,” says Gilson, in the words of the LA Times. The paper goes on to quote her verbatim as saying, “Some parents may have felt that the risk of HPV infection wasn’t relevant to them. But this study shows 1 in 10 boys has an infection that can lead to a cancer.”

Gillison’s words to the press are very different from those contained in the study itself, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): “Vaccine efficacy against oral HPV infection is unknown, and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended for the primary prevention of oropharyngeal cancer.”

The LA Times, Time Magazine, and other mainstream media outlets are reporting the results without mentioning the source of the study’s funding, nor the intimate relationship of the researcher with Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

However, the study clearly states her relationship in its “Conflict of Interest Disclosures” which notes that “All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr Gillison is the principal investigator of the unrestricted grant from Merck in support of this study and has been a consultant to Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. No other disclosures were reported.”

Time Magazine even provided a link with their coverage promoting the use of Merck’s Gardasil HPV vaccine, stating “Gardasil Protects Boys and Men From HPV Too” despite the fact, admitted by Time itself in the link, that the Centers for Disease Control does not purport to know the efficacy of the drug for men and boys and does not recommend it for “routine vaccination.”

Gillison had not responded to an interview request by the time of publication of this article.

The study concludes that 6.9% of Americans have an oral form of a cancer-causing strain of HPV, and that the rate is substantially higher for males (10.1%) than for females (3.6%). The rate of infection, however, is far lower for oral HPV than the overall rate in women, which ranges from about 22% to 42%, depending on the age group.

The study also found that the rate of oral HPV infection for carcinogenic HPV strains was much higher among sexually active people than those who had never had sexual intercourse (7.5%  vs 0.9%) and increased with the number of sexual partners. It was also higher for smokers than nonsmokers.

The high rates of oral HPV infection in the general population are believed to be caused by the large number of Americans engaging in oral sex. HPV strains transmitted by such behavior have caused oral cancers to skyrocket by 225% from 1974 to 2007.

High rates of cervical and other forms of cancer caused by genital HPV transmission have led to the creation of HPV vaccines, which have been criticized for the large number of adverse and even deadly reactions associated with them.

The US Centers for Disease Control states that “as of September 15, 2011, there have been a total 71 VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) reports of death among those who have received Gardasil®. There were 57 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty four of the total death reports have been confirmed and 37 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report.”

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