25 February, 2007

UAE releases cancer vaccine

The UAE is the first country in the Middle East to release the HPV (Human Papilloma virus) vaccination “Gardasil” according to Dubai Health News. It protects against the two strains of HPV that are responsible for approximately 70% of Cervical cancer cases in women. According to UAE’s Cancer Registry Program, the annual average of the reported cervical cancer cases has tripled in 2005 when compared with that from 1998-2004.

Gardasil has come under attack in the USA as religious and parent groups resist mandated vaccinations of young girls. Meanwhile, in Australia where the vaccine was developed, the government is planning on spending over $436 million on programmes to vaccinate young girls with an ongoing cost of under $50 million per year.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health has approved the vaccine and it is available now, though no government subsidies are offered. The treatment consists of 3 injections over a 6 month period with a total cost of approximately 1860 dirhams and is available through most GP's and medical centres.


Anonymous said...

haha this is funny... HPV=Genital Herpes, I always thought that the super moral people of the UAE and the region did not fornicate out of wedlock. Hence the probability of them catching a STD was low. :)

Oh it must for those evil infidel foreigners, (err temporary workers).

secretdubai said...

No - HPV is not Herpes, they are entirely separate conditions. And HPV includes conditions such as the warts some people get on their fingers. The term does not specifically relate to genital warts.

The vast majority of people - as many as 80% - carry some strain of the (generally) sexually trasmitted form of HPV. And this isn't a majority of "sexually promiscuous" people, this is the "reproductive population" - ie anyone who has had sex, albeit with just one partner their entire life. It is also possible to contract a "sexually transmitted" form of HPV without having sex, just as one can contract herpes without having sex.

It is also possible to contract cervical cancer without HPV infection, though HPV is involved in the majority of cervical cancer cases.

So much misinformation has been put out about HPV and cervical cancer over the past few years, largely by the religious right. It needs to be destigmatised so people are able to come out and get treatment, just like the HIV virus.

The issue I have with the vaccines is that they should be offered to both girls and boys. This means that men from developed countries where the vaccine was available would be less likely to transmit it to women and other men who haven't been vaccinated.

Back of House in DXB said...

Secertdubai is correct. In the USA the religous groups are saying this vaccine will promote promiscuity. Statements like "I will not get my daughter vaccinated as it will give her the wrong impression" really sadden me.

Firstly, if getting this vaccination is all it takes to corrupt your daughters morals then you've obviously not instilled such great self restraint.

Secondly, she could be as chaste as new snow, save herself for marriage, and if her husband has had ONE other partner in his life, then she is potentially exposed to HPV, and possibly cervical cancer. (do we not think that's a strong possibility here in Dubai?)

They're currently doing further research about the effectivness for men, and so far results have been promising. I think once there's solid evidence then it will def be marketed for men as well.

Anonymous said...

HPC != Genetial Herpes ?


Probability of getting Cervical Cancer, from the variety thats producing warts on your hand = low, (unless the hand with the warts is spending too much time somewhere else).

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