HPeeV’d Off?

HPV iseverywhere. Notjust the virus…but thetopic too. But I thinkCanadians getting a littleHPeeV’d off.


I know, I’ve heard them asking, “What do we do?” “Should we get the shot?” “Who should we believe?”


My editors and I brainstormed and agreed much has been said but that Canadians are confused. And it’s our obligationbring viewers what the experts are saying and what real families are feeling, so they can try to decide what’s best for them. Hence the birth of our five part series.


But, raise your hand if you even knew what HPV was beforeJuly 2006(that’s when Gardasil was approved in Canada). You might have even had it…and not even cared.


Suddenly nowHPV is a VIP.


Aftera massiveMerck marketing blitz, includingcommericals – pulling on parents heart strings and facebook profilestargeting teens,suddenly Canadians are concerned.

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As a health reporter, I’ve never seen such a groundswell of support…such unity between public health, governmentanda drug company. Three agencies, as journalists we’re trained to question most,all particpating in the same HPV love-in….Ihave to admit, it’s a little unnerving. Perhaps this is what has lead to all the media buzz.


But let’s face it we’re not a societykeen on prevention. We love hamburgersand lipitor. The experts admitHPV is not HIV, but that even if it can protect even a small number of people from cervical cancer, then we’ve acted in the name of prevention.


Does that mean you should get the shot?Maybe for some it does, or maybe it means asking your partner more questions, maybe it means havingfewer partners, even abstinance for some. But whatever it is, it’s prevention.


Prevention is a concept Canadiansneed embrace….it’s what’s going to save our medical system….and guarenteed to protect us froma lot more thanHPV.


Jennifer Tryon