by Jill Stanek
A March 15 Associated Press article entitled, "Despite its prevalence, sexually transmitted HPV remains a mystery to many," included this:
The human papillomavirus is the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases....
And yet [New York Dr. Elizabeth] Poynor finds that most of her young patients -- even if they've heard of a new vaccine aimed at preventing the worst kinds of HPV -- know little about the virus and the harm it can do....
The reasons that HPV is so little known are many. Poynor thinks it's been overshadowed by higher-profile STDs, such as HIV and herpes. Others note that, when marketing its vaccine, pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. has chosen to focus on the potential for cervical cancer rather than the virus itself, which also can cause genital warts.
So state Sen. Debbie Halvorson is part of the problem, not solution. She told the State Journal-Register on Feb. 19, "I'm talking about being able to eliminate cervical cancer. It has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with cancer."
Halvorson sounds like a Merck spokesperson. Well, she is. Halvorson is a board member of Women in Government, the group Merck has acknowledged channeling $$ through to promote the HPV vaccine mandate around the country. Halvorson introduced just such a bill in Illinois.