No, you are not entitled to your own opinion about the safety of homebirth … or vaccines … or detoxes, etc. etc. etc.

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Here at The Skeptical OB, we are treated to a steady stream of natural childbirth, homebirth and breastfeeding advocates parachuting in to “educate” everyone else. Sadly for them, they usually end by flouncing off after only a day or two. It’s almost as if they read Skeptico’s The Woo Handbook and are putting its principles into practice [with my comments in brackets]:

  • Start by telling skeptics you want to “educate them on the facts”…
  • When the skeptic comes back with demands for “evidence” (they love that word) for your claims, you should say the skeptic is being “defensive”. Alternatively you could try a passive aggressive approach and say the skeptic is “attacking”…
  • Remember, your personal experience is always more valid than their scientific studies (or your lack of them). Anecdotes will convince more people you’re right than any number of “studies” …
  • Question the skeptic’s experience or qualifications… [i.e. point out that Dr. Amy is retired as if this is a big secret that isn’t featured in the sidebar of the blog] …
  • Question the motives of everyone [except for the people who agree with you] …
  • After the debate has been going for a while you should say you’ve provided studies to support your position, even though you haven’t. [Or, alternatively, insist that you “don’t have time” to provide citations for the “many” studies that support your position]
  • … [W]hen you’ve used up all the above tactics, say you’re not going to waste any more time with the skeptics you’ve been debating because they’re too sad, stupid, closed-minded, ______ (insert other flaw the skeptic has) to understand your brilliant arguments…

Finally, when all else fails, insist that you are entitled to your own opinion.

Except that you are not. As Philosophy Professor Patrick Stokes explains:

You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.

Why?

The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.

What’s an opinion?

Plato distinguished between opinion or common belief (doxa) and certain knowledge, and that’s still a workable distinction today: unlike “1+1=2” or “there are no square circles,” an opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. But “opinion” ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.

You can’t really argue about the first kind of opinion. I’d be silly to insist that you’re wrong to think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. The problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others) why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views “respected.”

Here’s the money quote:

If “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” just means no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true, but fairly trivial. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven.

But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred.

What does that mean for those who parachute in to “educate” us about homebirth, or any other aspect of pseudoscience?

It means that while you are entitled to have whatever beliefs you wish about these subjects, but you aren’t entitled to have your beliefs taken as serious candidates for discussion unless you can defend them logically and with citations to appropriate scientific papers (papers that you have actually read and understood).

Otherwise, you might as well skip directly to Skeptico’s last principle:

Announce that you’re not going to waste any more time with the commentors on The Skeptical OB because they’re too sad, stupid, closed-minded, ______ (insert other flaw the skeptic has) to understand your brilliant arguments

Be sure to stick the flounce and don’t be tempted to come back within the hour to keep making the same absurd “arguments” again.

649 Responses to “No, you are not entitled to your own opinion about the safety of homebirth … or vaccines … or detoxes, etc. etc. etc.”

  1. Carol Anderson
    February 17, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    My name is Carol Anderson, I am here to give my testimony about a doctor who helped me in my life. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2010, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can go to get solution. so a lady walked to me telling me why am I so sad and i open up all to her telling her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and gave me his email, so i mail him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after two weeks the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS that was in my body got cured . so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him at ogboduherbalhivcure@gmail.com OR ogboduspellhome@gmail.com
    “”

  2. curiousmama
    January 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    I have to leave the forum now and probably won’t be able to participate in discussions here anymore (I procrastinate way too much on things like this so it is usually best I avoid forums 🙂 Thank you to everyone who was polite to me, even if there were things I was wrong about or ideas I had that were basic…I am still learning and appreciate the thought-provoking comments I can take away from this thread. I also appreciate the specific links and recommendations as I have limited time and would like to read reliable sources. Thanks again, Danielle

    • Siri
      January 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      Luckily you won’t have to try to ‘avoid forums’, as you live in a ‘technologically dead’ area and only happen to be ‘minding your father’s house’. So I’m not sure how you’ve managed to do so much online reading. Do you housesit all the time? Or are you actually … gasp … a troll? If so, you wouldn’t be the first one posing as a wide-eyed first-time parent who is oh so innocently looking for answers to your honest questions. While simultaneously begging the question as fast as your little fingers will allow.

      • curiousmama
        January 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

        I am house-sitting and watching my younger brother, and I can go to town and get internet access but have no affordable options at home (we refuse to pay for satellite). I should be doing last minute cleaning but wanted to check for any additional posts with resource suggestions

  3. A Banterings
    January 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Before any of you accuse me of being anti-vax, let me tell you that I am NOT!

    What I am is pro-informed consent, pro human rights, and pro-liberty. I believe that everyone has the rights to full information on the benefits and the risks (especially in healthcare), and the individual has the right to make the decision that they feel is right for themselves.

    I am NOT going to look at the issue of mercury or autism either.

    So let’s talk about informed consent truthfully and honestly . I will pick out one vaccine to illustrate with. It is one of the most common and one of the most dangerous (as approved vaccines go): the influenza vaccine.

    Yes, there are other vaccines that are safer, but all vaccines carry risks and benefits. I can cite sources with the same conclusions for other vaccines too, but to illustrate my point, I will focus on the influenza vaccine.

    Most of my sources are from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Therefore, their credibility CANNOT be disputed.

    A September 2013 meta-analysis study by the CDC reveals that flu vaccinations among healthcare workers offer no evidence of protection to the patients under their care! The CDC still recommends flu shots for healthcare workers because “It’s the best intervention we currently have, so we need to keep using it while working toward a better flu vaccine.”

    Here are some excerpts from the study as published by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota:

    Is it safe?

    The June 2014 report from the Department of Justice on damages paid by the U.S. Government to vaccine victims was recently published on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources website. There were 120 cases of vaccine injuries decided. 78 cases received compensation, while 42 cases were denied.

    Most of the U.S. public is unaware that a U.S. citizen, by law, cannot sue a pharmaceutical company for damages resulting from vaccines. Congress gave them total legal immunity in 1986, and that law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. There is a special “vaccine court” called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that is funded through a tax on vaccines. If you are injured or killed by a vaccine, you must hire an attorney and fight tax-funded government attorneys to seek damages, as you cannot sue the drug manufacturers. It takes years to reach a settlement, with the longest case being settled after 11 years.

    As in previous reports, the June 15, 2014, report covering a 3-month period shows that the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in America. 78 cases were awarded settlements for vaccine injuries, with 55 of the settlements being for the flu shot, including one death. Most of the settlements for injuries due to the flu shot were for Guillain-Barr Syndrome. Other flu vaccine injuries included: Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Rheumatoid arthritis, Shingles, Brachial plexus neuropathy, Bell’s Palsy, Brachial neuritis, Transverse myelitis, Lichenoid drug eruption, and Narcolepsy.

    Guess what the CDC says about the flu vaccine?

    ….The risk of a flu shot causing serious harm or death is extremely small. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, may rarely cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions . Almost all people who get influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it….

    …..There is a small possibility that influenza vaccine could be associated with Guillain-Barr syndrome….

    Source: CDC website

    “U.S. data on influenza deaths are a mess,” states a 2005 article in the British Medical Journal entitled “Are U.S. flu death figures more PR than science?” This article takes issue with the 36,000 flu-death figure commonly claimed, and with describing “influenza/pneumonia” as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

    Even the CDC admits the numbers are incorrect:

    Using this new, loose definition, CDC’s computer models could tally people who died of a heart ailment or other causes after having the flu. As William Thompson of the CDC’s National Immunization Program admitted, influenza-associated mortality is “a statistical association … I don’t know that we would say that it’s the underlying cause of death.”

    The CDC’s decision to play up flu deaths dates back a decade, when it realized the public wasn’t following its advice on the flu vaccine. During the 2003 flu season “the manufacturers were telling us that they weren’t receiving a lot of orders for vaccine,”Dr. Glen Nowak, associate director for communications at CDC’s National Immunization Program, told National Public Radio. “It really did look like we needed to do something to encourage people to get a flu shot

    Source: The Huffington Post

    Research shows that the vaccine can actually cause people to be more susceptible to the flu, or suffer worse symptoms if they contract the influenza virus.

    This phenomenon where the flu vaccine can actually make the flu worse was originally observed in mass in Canada during the 2008-2009 flu season. Researchers studied the issue for the next couple of years and concluded that the flu vaccine did in fact increase the severity of flu symptoms among those who were vaccinated (see: Study finds flu shot really did make people sicker).

    This was studied in Hong Kong in 2012 by researchers who conducted a true vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study on the influenza vaccine. The researchers found that those who received the flu vaccine suffered 5.5 times more incidents of similar diseases (see: Study: Flu Vaccine Causes 5.5 Times More Respiratory Infections – A True Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Study).

    In 2013, a study conducted by microbiologist Dr. Hana Golding of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at Bethesda in Maryland showed that pigs vaccinated against one strain of influenza were worse off if subsequently infected by a related strain of the virus (see: Vaccination may make flu worse if exposed to a second strain).

    The CDC admits they do not know if the flu vaccines are effective!

    Here is a study published in Oxford University’s Oxford Journal. The study finds that the flu vaccine causes 5.5 times More respiratory infections. The implications are the act of injecting antigens probably damages the innate cell-mediated immune response, the part of the immune system that protects without the need of resorting to development of antibodies. (The phenomenon of virus interference has been well known in virology for over 60 years.)

    Source: Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine; Clinical Infectious Diseases; Benjamin J. Cowling, Vicky J. Fang, Hiroshi Nishiura, Kwok-Hung Chan, Sophia Ng, Dennis K. M.lp, Susan S. Chiu, Gabriel M. Leung} and J. S. Malik Peir; DOI: 10.1093/cid/cis307

    June, 2014 — Europe’s biggest drug maker Novartis had its offices in Italy searched by police in June of 2014 for information related to two flu vaccines. This one was covered by the mainstream media as Bloomberg reported:

    Italian police searched two of the company’s sites as part of a probe into possible fraud related to the purchase of the vaccines by the Health Ministry, one for a pandemic in 2009, according to an e-mailed statement from the police. The police allege Novartis inflated the cost of an additive to the vaccines, known as MF59, by six-fold. (Source Law 360)

    Glen Nowak, former communications director for the CDC’s National Immunization Program, openly admitted during a 2004 presentation to the AMA, the CDC exaggerates flu hospitalization and death numbers to scare Americans into getting the flu shot. Although the presentation has been removed from the AMA’s website (most likely due to its incriminatory nature), other websites have archived it.

    Of particular interest is Nowak’s plan (he even calls it a “recipe”) to increase vaccination rates. Medical experts and public health authorities are encouraged to:

    Express concern and alarm publicly (e.g., in the media), predict dire outcomes, and urge influenza vaccination;
    Frame the flu season in terms that motivate behavior (e.g., using phrases like “very severe,” “more severe than last or past years,” “deadly”);
    Help foster the perception that many people are susceptible to a base case of influenza, by using continued reports from health officials and media that influenza is causing severe illness and/or affecting lots of people; and
    Show photographs of children and the families of those affected coming forward to get vaccinated.
    The CDC would apparently like you to believe that if everyone just got the flu shot, there would be no more tragic deaths. They seem to support efforts to force all healthcare workers to get it or lose their jobs, and of schools and youth programs to require it.

    I have presented scientific studies that show that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it claims. I have even shown the CDC’s own admission to this as well, yet it is defended as the Holy Grail. Should there not be a healthy skepticism in healthcare towards vaccines in light of the abuses committed by big pharma?

    What if I told you that the biggest risk to your health is going to a healthcare facility?

    A new study published in the March issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology shows that routine well-child visits to pediatricians actually increase a child’s chance for catching the flu within two weeks. This confirms what many parents have already discovered, that well-child visits are counterproductive, and usually a primary method of distributing vaccines.

    “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. –Joseph Stalin”

    What is really at stake? BILLIONS on DOLLARS!

    Richard Lander, MD (who also is a speaker for Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, and Sanofi-Pasteur – all vaccine makers) wrote in the article was published on Healio Pediatrics webpage about Infectious Diseases in Children: “Influenza vaccination makes sense for everyone.”

    Giving influenza vaccine is also good for the financial health of your practice. Source:
    Note that the article was published in January of 2013, plus there could be added financial rewards a year later due to vaccine price and medical service fees increases. Guess how much the vaccine administration fee is? According to Dr. Lander, it should range from $14 to $30.

    Dr. Lander uses a hypothetical patient base of 2,000 and explains who may or may not receive the flu vaccine. He contends bottom line and revenue results are $14,000 to $30,000 from only 1,000 patients receiving the flu shot. However, Dr. Lander throws in a financial wild card regarding 100 patients, who called to get a flu shot and then end up scheduling a well visit. According to Lander, a doctor “should be generating an additional $10,000. Bottom line: $25,000 to $42,500, which is not bad!”[Source:]

    The Flu Vaccine is the most Dangerous Vaccine in the U. S. based on Settled Cases for Injuries [Source: Department of Justice (Vaccine Court) claims 8/16/2013 through 11/15/2013].

    Of the 70 cases compensated (8/16/2013 through 11/15/2013), 42 of them were for the flu vaccine, or 60% of the cases settled where compensation was awarded for injury or death due to the flu vaccine. The combined total of the other 40% of cases settled included the following vaccines: Hep B, Tetanus, HPV, DTaP, MMR, IPV, PCV, Hib, Meningococcal, Varicella, TD.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      Yeah, right. You’re not anti-vax. And neither is Jenny McCarthy. Just ask her.

      But you still pull quotes basically straight off quack Joe Mercola’s website.

      You aren’t anti-vax, you just parrot those who are.

      PS That Cochrane review was written by a vocal anti-vaxxer.

      • A Banterings
        January 28, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

        I do not know what Jenny McCarthy’s political views are, and I can care less.

        I do not know who Joe Mercola is either.

        As for the Cochrane review was written by a vocal anti-vaxxer, just because one has an anti-vax beliefs, it does not negate the validity of the report.

        As I said I am not anti-vax. I make choices that I feel are appropriate for me. That does not mean that I am going to force other people to make the same decisions I make for myself.

        I just updated my tetanus. So if I got vaxxed, how can you say I am anti-vax?

        You point out the one reference that was written by someone with a position, yet ignore the CDC, BMJ, DOJ, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, and the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

        You have offered no credible sources to dispute any of my sources. You have resorted to inferences and accusations.

        You are acting like a Bolshevik; trying to tell everybody else how to live their lives. That shows a total disrespect for the dignity of your fellow human being.

        • Cobalt
          January 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

          You’re copy/pasting quotes from Health Impact News. Don’t expect anyone here to take you seriously, if they’re what you call reliable.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 28, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

          That shows a total disrespect for the dignity of your fellow human being.

          You know what shows a lack of dignity for others?

          Selfishly relying on the herd immunity that we provide while proclaiming it’s all about you. My kids are vaccinated because it’s good for them, but doing so is also good for others, including those who can’t or choose not to be vaccinated. Is it really Communist to ask that you, as part of our society, also contribute to the health and well-being of the members?

          Notice, no one has proposed making it illegal. Just that those who choose not to participate helping benefit society should not sponge off of the benefits provided by others.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

            Anti-vax moms are the infectious disease equivalent of welfare queens!

          • Cobalt
            January 28, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

            Do you mind if I shamelessly take that excellent summary of the situation and share it everywhere? Because it’s about perfect.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

            Go ahead. I just wrote a post about it. Feel free to share the meme image.

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2015/01/anti-vaxxers-the-real-welfare-queens.html

          • attitude devant
            January 28, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

            Bofa, you Bolshevik, you! (Good lord, how can anybody say that with a straight face in 2015?)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

            Klinger: I have to confess. I am a communist……. Henry: Bolshevik.
            Klinger: No, honest!!!

          • attitude devant
            January 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

            an oldie, but a goodie….

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

            (Ooooo, well done AD; that’s the episode)

          • moto_librarian
            January 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

            Mother is pregnant, sister dying.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

            Half the family dying, the other half pregnant

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

            I always get confused, are the Bolsheviks the ones with the big fuzzy hats? Or are they the Cossacks?

          • Roadstergal
            January 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            I’m a Menshevik. We get no love.

          • A Banterings
            January 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

            Roadstergal, that was great!

            You would be surprised how many people do not know what a Bolshevik is let alone a Menshevik.

            I truly appreciate your wit. Thank you for making my day.

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

            Why would we not know what a Menshevik is? (was? while their may still be Bolshies I can’t imagine there are Mensheviks…)

          • attitude devant
            January 28, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

            They’re the ones with the Molotov cocktails.

          • Amazed
            January 28, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

            Oh, they, or at least their local offspring here and there are alive and kicking, have no doubt. And still in power in too many places. I have the feeling that the world will never get rid of them unless we eradicate them from anything to do with power like… like the smallpox. Lucky you, being half a world away.

            Bofa will make a terrible Bolshevik, though. Why, he even thinks that doctors should treat their loony anti-vax patients with respect! He’ll never make it through the first meeting aimed at scolding the woman who left her husband for ruining the Communist moral and the foundation of the Communist family.

            Here. Now, you have it, Bofa! I don’t qualify for a PCM. now, do I? Well, you’ll NEVER qualify for a Bolshevik.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

            Yeah I’m sure he rocks the leather coat. 😛

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

            …and pants

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

            – from local movie, a communist teacher asking a kid post WWII:

            Q: Who knows what communism is?
            A: Communism is when you have food on the table.
            Q: Just that?

            A: When you have food on the table every day.
            Q: Just you?
            A: Yeah, just me.

          • A Banterings
            January 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

            Bofa,

            I appreciate your position of “asking” and “not making it illegal.”

            But the implication of “asking” and “not illegal” mean that you may get a “no thank you” as an answer.

            That being said, I believe that vaccines are a good thing.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 30, 2015 at 9:34 am #

            But the implication of “asking” and “not illegal” mean that you may get a “no thank you” as an answer.

            And, in response, you get “thanks for nothing, douchebag”

            You have the right to be a douchebag. Doesn’t mean you aren’t a douchebag when you are. And don’t cry when people treat you like the douchebag that you are. And spare me the “I’m just doing what’s best for my family” because, yeah, we all know you are a selfish douchebag.

        • Amazed
          January 28, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

          Earth to A Banterings (sitting comfortably in his chair in the comfort of the USA while making this particular comparison, no doubt): Some of us live in countries still trying to restore after the Bolsheviks had their pretty time here. And we know what the Bolsheviks did best: deciding who was expendable. Men. Women. Children.

          It isn’t Bofa who’s spewing misinformation, not bothering to mention all those who cannot be vaccinated and are so exposed to the VPDs. It’s the anti-vax guru, Sears or Gordon, I cannot keep their near identical bullshit straight. They think those who don’t belong to their white, well-off patient body is expendable. So expendable that they don’t bother mention them. Much like the ten thousands of people who were “disappeared” here when Bolsheviks had the say.

          So, let’s review: who’s the Bolshevik?

          • A Banterings
            January 29, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

            I am 3rd gen US born. One of my ancestors in Poland was “drafted” by the Bolsheviks. He escaped by desertion and came to America.

            Forgive me, I do not know who Sears and Gordon are unless you are referring to Sears, Roebuck & Company and Gordon Lightfoot.

            Of course coming from such a country you could appreciating what the “it is best for society (the herd)” thinking leads to. When you put society ahead of the individual, you get things like communism and the Holocaust.

            When you say:

            ” They think those who don’t belong to their white, well-off patient body are expendable.”

            Other than the fact that statement is incredibly racist and offensive, it harkens to the conspiracy theory that the HIV virus was created by government scientists as a way to eliminate people of color. (Source: The Washington Post)

            Are you implying that people of color do not critically think for themselves?

            I really don’t know how to address this line of thought.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

            I wasn’t aware that the Bolsheviks forced Poles to fight in their army during the Polish-Soviet war. Do you have any more information? Fascinating piece of history, interesting echoes in current Ukrainian issues.
            I assume you meant the Polish-Soviet war, because you specifically said Bolshevik.

          • A Banterings
            January 29, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

            It was a story I heard growing up from my grandmother (who passed 3 years ago). The gist of the story was that he was a Pole, and he deserted what she referred to the “Russian Army.” It was around 1900, the time when the Marxist and Leninist ideologies began splitting.

            I am not sure if it was the Bolsheviks he was fighting for or against. Shortly after deserting, the family came to America.

            My wife is of Lithuanian decent. Her grandfather told the story of how, when he was 6 or so, the soldiers came to the farmhouse, his mother told him to hide under the bed. His parents were taken away. When he emerged, he was alone. He walked for 3 days to his uncle’s farm. Having no inheritance, he became a glassblower and made his way to America.

            A close friend of my family who just passed this year (in his 80’s) was Ukrainian. His mother was born there. He told me stories of what Stalin did to the Ukraine. Stalin had more people than Hitler executed, and many people do not realize that.

            Apparently you are versed in European history and will appreciate this joke:

            Question: What is the difference between Polish and Lithuanian?

            Answer: About 25 kilometers…

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

            Putting society in front of the individual has nothing to do with Communism. Not that I approve of the concept but let’s get this straight: Communism was never about society, it was about serving the needs of the Communist top crust. Society and individuals just paid the price. Scratch that, they’re still paying. In fact, come to think of it, Communism and anti-vaccine movement have much in common!

            Read who Sears and Gordon are, read who their patients are, and you’ll get why I phrased my comment just as I did. I repeat it: their patients are mostly white and well-off, so those kids should not take the vastly exaggerated risk of vaxxing. Instead, they can comfortably rely on herd immunity. Hide in the herd but not tell the herd you’re hiding, that’s what Dr Sears advises.

          • A Banterings
            January 29, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

            I briefly researched Sears and Gordon. I did not see where the demographics of their patients are, do you have a citation?

            Although I do not agree with Dr. Sears assertion on a moral basis, scientifically (based on epidemiology), he is correct.

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

            They are both pediatrician in a certain area, their patients are well-off, upper class and so on. What demographics do you think we’re talking about?. Gordon was even the pediatrician of Jenny McCarthy’s kid, for heaven’s sake!

            Look, you can keep harping on the imaginary racist issue. Or you can focus on something far more vital, like the fact that the intentionally unvaxxed kid who spread the measles in San Diego in 2008 was Dr Sears’ own patient.

            http://www.ocregister.com/articles/http-548411-ocregister-href.html

            Turned out, science turned against him, no matter how statistically unlikely it was for the kid to get measles thanks to herd immunity. Once they left the herd, it happened.

      • Cobalt
        January 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

        Health Impact News, the bastion of real truth.

    • Ainsley Nicholson
      January 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Thank you for this magnificent example of pseudo-science. I started looking into the claims you are making, and they fell apart very quickly. For one thing, the article you reference regarding the meta-analysis of HealthCare workers did not come to the conclusion that you state (“that flu vaccinations among healthcare workers offer no evidence of protection to the patients under their care”). What they found instead was that HCW flu vaccination reduced both death rates and frequency of influenza-like illness. What they did not find was a significant drop in LAB-CONFIRMED influenza cases. Here is an excerpt from the article you referenced:

      “In the new analysis, researchers found that HCW vaccination prevented all-cause death and influenza-like illness (ILI). Pooling the results, they estimated that the measure reduced deaths from any cause by 29%. Death rates varied in the four randomized trials. Efforts to increase flu vaccination in HCWs were associated with a drop in deaths that ranged from 0.8% to 8%.

      Though the investigators found a 42% drop in ILI, the impact on lab-confirmed flu—a much more specific outcome—was lower and not statistically significant.”

      The article you referenced did not include a link to the actual article, but I’m posting a link below to what is likely to be the article that they were discussing. (right journal, right timeframe, right subject matter) However, this article was not published by CDC researchers.

      http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/57/6/820.full.pdf+html

      OK, so lets look next at your claim that “the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in America”. When you look at the actual statistics (http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreports.html#_ftnref1)

      it is clear that yes, there are more compensable vaccine injury events for the flu vaccine than any other vaccine. However, there are also many more doses of flu vaccine dispensed than of other vaccines. Correcting for the number of doses, we find that the actual rate of vaccine injuy per dose is right in the middle.
      So now that the first two claims I looked at fell apart, I’m comfortable disregarding the rest of your claims; I’m confident that they would fall apart equally quickly under scrutiny.

      • A Banterings
        January 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

        I apologize fot the broken link, thank you for correcting.

        I will grant you that as a percentage flu vax injuries are low due to the high numbers of doses.

        I am not anti-vax. I think that for some people it is good. My wife usually gets vaxxed (she works in healthcare). Some years it is more effective than others.

        But how often are patients told the risks, all the PSAs and providers just say “get vaccinated?”

        US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear—a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts “predict dire outcomes” during flu seasons.

        The CDC website states what has become commonly accepted and widely reported in the lay and scientific press: annually “about 36 000 [Americans] die from flu” (www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease.htm) and “influenza/pneumonia” is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States (www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm). But why are flu and pneumonia bundled together? Is the relationship so strong or unique to warrant characterising them as a single cause of death? Source: British Medical Journal

        I believe vaccines are a good thing. I even agree that they save lives. I concede both of these.

        I am NOT going to argue numbers. Let’s just leave this out for now.

        Do you not concede that vaccines have risks, patients have a right to know the risks (as well as the benefits), AND patients have a right to decide if (and what) vaccines are right for themselves?

        • Ainsley Nicholson
          January 28, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

          “Do you not concede that vaccines have risks, patients have a right to know the risks (as well as the benefits)”

          Yes, I absolutely agree with this part of your statement. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about the risks of vaccines, and a lot of pseudo-science. Since most people are not medical professionals or highly-trained scientists, they don’t know how to evaluate the information they are getting and determine whether or not it can be relied upon. As you demonstrated by posting your remarks above (which I’m guessing were copied from somewhere else?), even intelligent people can be confused by well-written but misleading opinion peices that are dressed up to look like science.
          Yes, vaccines have risks, but they are miniscule. The diseases they prevent are much more dangerous. If parents get misinformation that causes them to think the risks of the vaccine are substantially greater than what they really are, how does that help the parents make the best decision for their children?
          The second part of your statement “patients have a right to decide if (and what) vaccines are right for themselves” requires a more nuanced response. I do understand the sentiment that people should be able to seek the type of medical care that they believe will help them the most, and to deny any medical care that they believe has risks greater than its potential benefits. In the case of vaccines, we as parents need to make those decisions for our children. However, it is also the case with vaccines that the decision you make for your children can effect my children also, just like the decision I make can effect your children. Those are the situations where we as a society have to make a decision together as to what is best for all of our children. In this case, the decision is obvious- it is best for the vast vast majority of children if as many children as possible are vaccinated. So no, I don’t agree with the second part of your statement.

          • Cobalt
            January 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

            Every single time I go for vaccines, either for myself or the kids, they give me the vaccine handout for whichever shot we’re getting. It details very simply and clearly the risks of vaccination, including everything from soreness at the injection site to death. Vaccine risks aren’t secret.

          • A Banterings
            January 29, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

            The risks of vaccines are NOT miniscule. If they were, the FDA would NOT have such stringent regulations for them.

            “What is best for all of our children,” so the rest of society does NOT matter?

            “…the decision is obvious…” No it is not obvious, if it were, everybody would be getting vaccinated.

            Do you realize that the Holocaust was based on (American) science?

            Read The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

            Looking back now one may dispute the validity of the science, but at the time it was thought to be sound. The same holds true now for anything; It is not what we know, but what we THINK we know.” That is the basis of any solid scientific thought.

            The biggest problem with vaccines is the lack of liability of the manufacturers. You can NOT sue a vaccine manufacturer. If they HAPPEN to put TOO MUCH mercury in a vaccine, or screw it up royally, too bad for you.

            If you really want to make your argument valid, then hold vaccine manufacturers ACCOUNTABLE.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

            “Do you realize that the Holocaust was based on (American) science?”

            Eeesh not everything is either that simple or about you guys. 🙂 Here is a good read on the complexities behind the first interwar racist legislation: http://mek.oszk.hu/11100/11109/11109.pdf

            It was an already established pattern when it produced this legislation in 1920. and one that quite predictably picked up both Hitler and your eugenics along the way on the road that lead from policy of restriction to policy of extermination.

          • A Banterings
            January 29, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

            yugaya,

            Thank you. I downloaded and started looking at the publication.

            You may wish to look at Edwin Black’s “War Against the Weak.” It is about the eugenics movement in the U.S. which was led by physicians in the early 1900’s.

            When you say “…not everything is either that simple or about you guys,” I assume you mean America?

            My point there was not to take pride in such a thing, but to admit “we have all made mistakes.” It would be arrogant of me to use eugenics as an example of “what we think we know,” and not acknowledge that the US was the incubator of this science.

          • guest
            January 29, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

            The risk of a serious reaction to – say the MMR – is less than one in a million. So, yes, miniscule.

            http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#mmr

          • Who?
            January 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

            Way less than the risk of getting measles. But then if you choose not to vax, and the kids get sick, I suppose people convince themselves it’s not their fault.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 30, 2015 at 9:46 am #

            Do you understand why vaccine manufacturers are protected by the federal government from vaccine injury lawsuits? Those lawsuits are so costly and unpredictable that pharmaceutical companies were deciding to stop making vaccines altogether. Faced with the possibilty of having no vaccine-producing companies left in the country, the government set up the vaccine court so that families that did have a vaccine-inured child could get compensation without having to sue the manufacturers directly. If you want to learn more about it, here is a good place to start:

            http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-injury-compensation-programs

          • A Banterings
            January 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

            Yes I understand the “why.” One has to figure that into the rubric that one uses in deciding to vaccinate or not. That fact has a bearing on that decision making process.

            MMR has a 1 in 1250 risk of seizure (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#mmr )

            That is NOT minuscule, that is a significant risk. That is just one of multiple risks, granted that is the highest incidence of the more serious risks.

            Let me ask this; a physician is trying to convince reluctant parents to vaccinate. Parents fear an adverse reaction. Physician says the risk is minuscule, more reasons to vax, blah, blah, blah… and he will drop them if they do not. Parents agree and want their protest and concerns as part of the medical record. Child has bad reaction; seizure, deafness, or whatever…

            What liability does the physician bear?

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

            It is somewhat bizarre that you write “seizure, deafness, whatever” as if they had the same risk (seizure risk = 1 in approx 3000, deafness risk = less than one in a million doses, so rare that it is hard to tell if it is actually caused by the vaccine) or the same long-term effect (seizzure = scary but temporary vs. deafness = life-changing disability). I don’t know what sort of liability the physician has in those circumstances- I am not a lawyer. I do have a question for you, and please understand that I ask this out of genuine curiosity…how does your opposition to vaccinations make you feel? Do you feel smart because you can post citations to scientific studies? Do you enjoy the process of arguing about it? Do you truely believe that scientists and doctors are out to hurt people, and that only people who have educated themselves on the internet actually know what is going on? If so, does that make you feel scared or self-rightous or what? If you were to come to the conclusion that vaccines were actually very low risk and very effective, what would you lose on a personal level? What is your emotional benefit from believing that the risks of vaccines is greater than parents are being told?

          • A Banterings
            January 30, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

            It is somewhat bizarre that you write “seizure, deafness, whatever”

            I am referring to the more sever, life altering or life threatening side effects. I was adding all the possibilities for severe adverse reactions, not picking any particular severe adverse reaction for the sake of my example.

            I don’t know what sort of liability the physician has in those circumstances- I am not a lawyer.

            I know what the legal liability is, I am asking what is your opinion of this situation where something goes wrong. What do you tell the parents, OOPS?

            I do have a question for you, and please understand that I ask this out of genuine curiosity…how does your opposition to vaccinations make you feel?

            I have repeated this ad nausium, I AM NOT ANTI-VACCINE. I HAVE BEEN VAXXED. I feel that everyone has the right to decide for themselves.

            Do you feel smart because you can post citations to scientific studies?

            No, but when I make a statement, I post a citation to validate what I said so that it provides a validity to my statements. Any work that would be of my own research I would either cite the journal where it was published or cite as unpublished.

            If something is a personal preference, I would cite that as such.

            Do you enjoy the process of arguing about it?

            I do not enjoy arguing as that is not productive. I do enjoy, respectful debate.

            Do you truely believe that scientists and doctors are out to hurt people…

            I believe that the medical industrial complex puts profits ahead of people.

            Read about: Accutane (Isotretinoin), Baycol (Cerivastatin), Bextra (Valdecoxib), Cylert (Pemoline), Duract (Bromfenac), Merital & Alival (Nomifensine), Omniflox (Temafloxacin), Palladone (Hydromorphone hydrochloride, extended-release), Posicor (Mibefradil), Raplon (Rapacuronium), Redux (Dexfenfluramine), Selacryn (Tienilic acid)

            …Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the offices at the Redding Medical Center of cardiovascular surgeon Dr Chae Hyun Moon and director of cardiovascular surgery Dr Fidel Realyvasquez Jr…82 patients who were allegedly subjected to unnecessary cardiac surgery at Redding Medical Center, Redding, northern California Source: National Institutes of Health

            …and that only people who have educated themselves on the internet actually know what is going on?

            The internet has forever changed healthcare. What was once thought to be forbidden knowledge is now available at one’s fingertips.

            If you notice, of the sources that I list that are NOT legitimate news sources (AP, Reuters, ABC News, etc.) almost ALL my sources are legitimate sources of scientific research. They are either journals or the US Federal Government’s National Institutes of Health. I have always used the NIH repository because all of their publications are vetted.

            You have to be educated, have experts that you can rely on, or know where to find the correct information to know what is going on.

            If so, does that make you feel scared or self-rightous or what?

            I do not know what you are asking here. If you are implying that I am uneducated and that I am compensating for that here, you are sadly mistaken.

            If you were to come to the conclusion that vaccines were actually very low risk and very effective, what would you lose on a personal level?

            The effectiveness of some vaccines vary by strain that they protect against. I HAVE ALREADY CONCLUDED THAT SOME ARE EFFECTIVE AND LOW RISK. Tetanus was my last one in this category.

            I have stated this fact multiple times, so why do you ignore it?????????????

            Others I deem unnecessary, usually because I have a strong immune system and/or the risks are too great. Influenza is one that I will not get. I am able to fight off the flu, therefore beyond being unnecessary, the risks become greater than any benefit.

            What is your emotional benefit from believing that the risks of vaccines is greater than parents are being told?

            As per your question, none.

          • Box of Salt
            January 31, 2015 at 12:50 am #

            A Banterings,
            your insistence that “I AM NOT ANTI-VACCINE” suggests you have different definition of that term than I do.

            I define “anti-vaccine” as arguing against the use of vaccines, whether or not a person concedes that one or two of them may be useful. Exactly what have you been doing here in this comments section these past few days?

          • Box of Salt
            January 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

            A Banterings, you’ve got the wrong vaccine.

            The risk of seizure caused by fever from MMR is about 1 out of 3,000 doses.

            The 1 in 1250 number is for MMRV.

            Both of these side effects are considered moderate.

            The risk of severe long term seizures is 1 in 1,000,000 for MMR and 4 in 1,000,000 for MMRV.

            Contrast that with the risks brought on by getting the measles:

            http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/meas.pdf
            “Seizures (with or without fever) are reported in 0.6%–0.7% of cases”

            “Death from measles was reported in approximately 0.2% of the cases in the United States from 1985 through 1992.”

          • A Banterings
            January 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

            You are correct about MMR vs MMRV. Still a significant risk, especially if you are the 3000th patient in line…

            While you are correct in your numbers, your source is from 2009. My source, also from the CDC has the MMR figures from 2012 and the document was last updated 2014 (more recent), so you may choose to cite that.

            Thank you for pointing that out.

          • Box of Salt
            January 31, 2015 at 12:42 am #

            A Banterings, nice try. Why didn’t you link the “updated” pink book? Is it because the numbers are the same as the I quoted from the pdf version?
            http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/meas.html#complications

          • A Banterings
            January 31, 2015 at 1:42 am #

            Your first reference was dated 2009.

            The pink book is in the publications section:

            http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/meas.html#complications

            i was in the general vaccine section:

            http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#mmr

            You say toe-may-toe, I say toe-ma-toe.

            I prefer http://www.afhsc.mil for epidemiology and analysis.

          • Box of Salt
            January 31, 2015 at 2:04 am #

            A Banterings,

            Could you please tell me how my earlier link is both dated 2009 and includes references from 2011?

            MMWR 2011;60(RR-7):1-45

            That one’s listed on the last page (p20); I understand you might not have looked that far. And, yeah, there’s a graph which has the year 2009 in its title on p6.

            It’s still the same 20 page long Pink Book pdf for Measles currently linked by the CDC.

            And it’s still the exact same numbers as the disease complications page updated Nov 2014 (in my next reply to you).

          • A Banterings
            January 31, 2015 at 2:13 am #

            As per page 174 (page 2) :

            Measles Complications…
            Based on 1985-1992 surveillance data

            The publication I listed:

            MMR vaccine side-effects…
            (This information taken from MMR VIS dated 4/20/12. If the actual VIS is more recent than this date

          • Box of Salt
            January 31, 2015 at 2:55 am #

            A Banterings, yes, data for complications are old. The rates of complications from measles, including death, run per thousand of cases.

            Take note – this is from p8 of the Pink Book pdf: “Since 1993, fewer than 500 cases have been reported annually, and fewer than 200 cases per year have been reported since 1997.”

            From 2001 to 2011, the US saw a total of only 911 cases and two deaths.
            http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6204a1.htm?s_cid=rr6204a1_w (Second paragraph under the “Measles Elimination and Epidemiology during Postelimination Era” heading). It’s difficult to update the data when you don’t have the numbers of cases.

            On the other hand, the rates of serious vaccine side effects run per million. But because millions of Americans get vaccinated, we do have both recent and reliable numbers for the vaccine.

          • A Banterings
            January 31, 2015 at 3:08 am #

            i have no problem accepting those numbers.

          • Who?
            January 31, 2015 at 3:26 am #

            Surely ‘thanks for that, it’s useful information which I’ll bear in mind in future’, would be the more appropriate and gracious response to Box of Salt.

          • Who?
            January 31, 2015 at 1:25 am #

            The physician’s liablility is exactly the same. Because the risk doesn’t change. The parents have, wisely for their own child and as responsible community members, decided to vaccinate.

            Who knows what was the decisive factor? Perhaps the parents prefer to stay with a doctor who believes so passionately in vaccination that she is prepared to lose patients and therefore business over it.

          • A Banterings
            January 31, 2015 at 1:59 am #

            This is exactly my point of my question; you so blatantly negate the risk, even when faced with that minuscule occurrence.

            It is this thinking that shows you do not fully grasp the entirety of the subject matter at hand.

            Don’t say that you do, do not accuse me of not understanding. I acknowledge fully both the benefits and the risk.

            You just ignored the risk and the consequences.

            I have never said do not vax, I have always maintained individual CHOICE.

            What it comes down to is you trying to tell other people how to live their lives.

            Yes, it is a good thing that most people choose to vax. By nature of it being a choice, some people are going to choose not to do it.

            So I guess, that according to your statement, the person with a compromised immune system, say from chemo, is NOT a responsible community member?

          • Who?
            January 31, 2015 at 2:37 am #

            A doctor wouldn’t be recommending that an immune compromised person be vaccinated-that person, babies too young to be vaccinated, the elderly and otherwise unwell are the beneficiaries or victims of the responsibility others take. But then you have form for mocking victims of regulatory failure, so I guess you’re mocking those people when they get sick with VPDs. Silly them!

            Weighing risk is a serious responsibility. Deciding health care for another is a serious responsibility. By all means, people should avoid vax for their children. A school might then choose to not enrol that child-do you like that choice, or just the personal one?

            Unlike you, I don’t claim to know everything about everything. Is there anything you are not an expert on?

          • A Banterings
            January 31, 2015 at 2:51 am #

            i never mocked anyone. you are the one talking in absolutes.

            i have never claimed that i am an expert on anything either.

            i can make a logical decision and support my position.

            my position involves choice of the individual, therefore immune compromised decide not to. you on the other hand talk in absolutes of not vaxxing is irresponsible. i never heard exceptions…

          • Who?
            January 31, 2015 at 3:09 am #

            Gee-maleness, deductive reasoning, stitching yourself, tea ceremony, laws of war, homicide legislation, depression, and that’s without taking a moment to check back, I’m sure there are many many more you are expert in. Don’t start being coy now!

            Nice you think you are logical, perhaps should add that to the list?

            You know all about vaccines, but don’t know the basic information that the immuno-compromised are not offered vaccination.

            You mocked the dead who are killed by guns, both in the US and here, by saying their deaths are the inevitable cost of a gun-owner’s legitimate choice. You think a gun can be both accessible to a child and safely stored, and that those deaths are worth the rights of others to carry guns. When you did that, and mocked the dead (apart from the Sydney gunman) in the only two mass shootings in Australia in more than 10 years, I stopped engaging with you on the other blog because I realised I was attempting to communicate with an amoral shell. Unfortunately, you turn out to have more than one message.

          • A Banterings
            January 31, 2015 at 3:35 am #

            I have been blessed to have an interesting life that has taken me many places. It is also that I continue to educate myself both formally and informally.

            I have never claimed expertise in anything. I live my life and I can depend on myself.

            Again you put words in my mouth, I have never mocked the dead. Yes people die, especially in a free society. But what would you know, as per your own words you do not live in a free society. I do not expect you to understand.

            I did bring up the two mass shootings in Australia because you so conveniently ignored them. If I had not brought them up, people unfamiliar with your country may assume that your delusions of utopia are true.

            Again you reference gender. I can only assume that you prefer your men passive, weak, and dependent like the picture that you paint of the rest of your society.

            You have stooped to this level which now includes stalking me across threads because I have called you to defend your position which you have failed to do.

            I do not mock you.

            This is the picture that you have painted of yourself and your society by your own words.

            I can only imagine what words you will place in my mouth next or what accusations you will make.

            My life is good, I can own a gun, not vax, choose to live the way I see fit. If you are happy with 75% income tax, not owning firearms, not being able to speak your mind, so be it. That is your choice. I would not impose my lifestyle or my choices upon you.

          • Who?
            January 31, 2015 at 3:45 am #

            Freedom kills people hey! Well that’s worth fighting for.

            I like my people-men and women-human, not caricatures.

            You don’t mock me at all, I agree, you mock victims who you consider weak. You mock the victims of the freedoms you think so important. You must therefore assume that you and whoever you care about are strong-it will be a difficult day for you when that belief if challenged.

            So brave behind your gun-oh, no, that’s right as well as all things gun, you’re also an expert in krav maga…or are you denying those areas of expertise now too?

          • A Banterings
            February 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

            Everybody dies, those who live free live a better life and die a better death. Yes, there are good ways to die, like with dignity vs. without.

            Almost all times the perpetrators are the weak ones, cowards many times standing behind violence and fear.

            I don’t stand behind a gun. My strength comes from within.

            Since you have continually ignored what I have said, such as guns do not give me power or make me strong, put words (which I never said) in my mouth (I never claimed to be and expert at anything; knowing something and being an expert are 2 separate things), your insults to the male gender, your lack of coherent logical thinking, and all around childish behavior, you are irrelevant to this debate any further, and I am going to ignore you while I am talking with the other adults here.

          • Nick Sanders
            February 5, 2015 at 4:35 am #

            Firstly, your own link says 1 in 3,000, The 1 in 1,250 is for MMRV, and it goes on to mention that splitting it into MMR and chickenpox cuts that risk in half, down to 1 in 2,500. Either way, it’s caused by fever, and fevers can be combatted.

            Meanwhile, let’s compare the risks of just measles, one of the three diseases covered by that shot. As stated by the same CDC:
            “Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.

            As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.

            About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or mentally retarded.

            For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.”

            But, suppose you get it and get better, no serious side effects. Turns out you aren’t out of the woods yet.

            “Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a very rare, but fatal disease of the central nervous system that results from a measles virus infection acquired earlier in life. SSPE generally develops 7 to 10 years after a person has measles, even though the person seems to have fully recovered from the illness.”

            My, doesn’t that sound fun.

          • Nick Sanders
            February 5, 2015 at 4:23 am #

            What mercury?

    • Nick Sanders
      February 5, 2015 at 4:22 am #

      Court cases are not scientific evidence.

  4. curiousmama
    January 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    Experts vs. laypeople…in science, medicine, and political commentary, it has become the norm for many discussions to quickly throw philosophical depth to the wind in order to quarrel based on partisan views. For example, instead of bringing up pro vs. con vaccine arguments, I would like to ask a few more basic questions: What was the original purpose behind vaccination – full and lasting immunity, or occasional, fading immunity? If the first vaccine for smallpox worked, can it be logically argued that all other diseases can be treated with the same platform? Phrased another way, why have we not stepped back, now that we realize many diseases we attempt to prevent through vaccination do not give the same lasting immunity as the original smallpox vaccination, and looked at whether vaccination is the way to address these other health problems?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Who says we aren’t?

      • curiousmama
        January 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

        Well, quite frankly, the fact that many commenters (including Dr. Amy) do not actively acknowledge that vaccination may be a flawed approach to prevent certain illnesses.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 27, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

          How would you know? Wait … don’t tell me … you have a PhD in immunology. No? Let me guess again: you read it on the internet and you actually believed the nonsense you read.

          • curiousmama
            January 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

            I get the fact that you deal with many commenters who question what you say, but your condescension is quite unnecessary and not at all welcoming to someone who is truly trying to learn. I am a first time mother, and I don’t have all the answers, but at least I am trying to get a balanced perspective from sites like yours. That being said, as others have pointed out, a PhD in immunology (or any medical field for that matter) is not necessary to understand and engage in discussion on vaccines.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 27, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

            You’re not trying to learn; you think you already know.

            You lack the basic knowledge to even understand the issues, let alone form an opinion on them. You are an excellent example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 7:02 am #

            No, those suffering from Dunning-Kruger are confident despite profound ignorance, and place themselves above obviously superior people. I don’t do that, because I am not unaware of my own ignorance on this topic. It is why I am here – I am trying to delve deeper into the topic rather than read the CDC handouts at my ped. office and pretend that makes me informed.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 29, 2015 at 9:42 am #

            If you are confident enough to deny your own child the protection of vaccines, then you are confident enough to be an example of Dunning-Kruger.

            You try to present yourself as someone who is seeking answers, but the fact is that you are a vaccine denialist.

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2012/10/the-difference-between-skepticism-and-denialism.html

          • Stacy48918
            January 27, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

            If your first post was “Can someone explain to me why some vaccines confer longer protection than others?” THAT is a question from someone trying to learn.

            Instead you STATED, not asked, that since all vaccines are not equally effective as the smallpox vaccine we should do away with them and instead find natural ways to help people suffer through these diseases.

            You aren’t trying to get a balanced perspective. You already have your mind made up and you just parachuted in to tell us off.

            Go back to square one and honestly ask why vaccines are different. Its not that hard to understand, if you truly have an open mind and are willing to learn and have your preconceived notions challenged.

            Or you can keep thinking that its better for people to suffer disease than to prevent it in the first place.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 6:58 am #

            I did not state that we should do away with vaccines, nor did I dismiss all vaccines as inferior to smallpox.

            True, I did not phrase my first post the way you would have preferred…but if you would like to post non-CDC informational links that would be useful for me as I learn, I would appreciate it. (I say non-CDC because I have done a lot of looking on that website already and would love to know of other reputable websites rather than continue to get lost in anti-vaxx blogs)

          • Guesteleh
            January 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

            http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/growing-up-unvaccinated/

          • Guesteleh
            January 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

            This discussion isn’t really about vaccines and science and immunity. It’s about privilege. The more money and education you have, the healthier you are. And if you are privileged enough you can start to think that being healthy is a matter of character and that it has nothing to do with having access to top-notch medical care, clean water, a safe place to live, etc. So you start to discard things like vaccines which are for those ignorant unhealthy masses, aka poor folks, because you know better, you are more educated, you think outside the boundaries, the doctor doesn’t know better than you, oh no. You know what? That’s arrogant and ignorant. When you willfully throw away the protections you take for granted then you learn that in fact you don’t live in some fucking magical bubble and that your body and your children’s bodies are susceptible to disease just like everyone else.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 6:54 am #

            It actually is a discussion about vaccines, science, and immunity.

            Just because you have written me off as a “privileged, arrogant, ignorant” person does not change the focus of the discussion.

            Since I have not wholly rejected vaccination and don’t plan to, your irritation towards me is unnecessary…and of course I don’t believe that a magic bubble is protecting my child from getting a disease.

          • A Banterings
            January 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

            curiousmama, good for you for taking responsibility and trying to educate yourself. Remember, doctors, nurses, immunologists, are all people. If they can learn, so can you. (of course you are not going to get a PhD necessarily), but enough to make the right decisions for yourself and child.

            The biggest problem that providers have is that the internet took away their sacred and forbidden knowledge. Back when medicine was paternalistic, patients did not question providers.

            We see now that they are human, do not know everything, and make mistakes. Read my post above and look at the sources I cite (CDC, BMJ, etc.).

            Finally, a doctor may know the human body better than anybody, BUT you know YOUR body better than anybody. If you choose vax, no vax, or some vax, it is your choice.

            In disclosure, I am not anti-vax. I make choices that I feel are appropriate for me. That does not mean that I am going to force other people to make the same decisions I make for myself.

            I have had the vaccines for the ones that I feel can kill me or seriously hamper my life (MMR, HPV, Hep, Tetanus). I don’t go crazy and get ones for the sake of getting them, such as influenza.

            Continue on your path of enlightenment, learn what you can, question everything and everyone, and make your own decision.

            In all the debate here, notice that you do not see critical self thinking encouraged, people encouraged to make their own decisions, or those decisions respected. Just an observation.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

            So the morons who chose not to be vaccinated for the measles and went to Disney and spread it around, was it their body and their decision? Or did it affect lots and lots and lots of others, too?

            No, it’s not a personal decision. It’s a societal issue.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

            “Finally, a doctor may know the human body better than anybody, BUT you know YOUR body better than anybody.”

            So what? The reason you go to a doctor is because you can have a life threatening condition like high blood pressure or cancer without having a clue. If you can’t even tell that you’re at high risk of dying, what difference does it make what you “know”?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

            Besides, what does “knowing your body” have to do with whether vaccination is beneficial or not? How can anyone know if their body doesn’t need vaccination? You got a stack of tithers showing that you have immunity to everything already? No one knows their body that well.

          • A Banterings
            January 28, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

            People go to physicians to get a script for a medication that they know they need but requires an FDA # to prescribe or a referral for a test.

            Yes I know some will abuse the system if the FDA# wasn’t required, but many, especially those with chronic conditions, have taken responsibility for their own care, and know how to monitor and treat/control it.

            Also, anyone who goes to a physician (except if unconscious) is going for a second opinion. Once a person decides to go, regardless of their knowledge or control of their healthcare, they have made a self-diagnosis that something is wrong (illness or disease), OR as a preventative measure, and they need to go.

            At the very least, the physician then confirms or disputes the decision made by the patient to seek the physician’s advice. At the other end of the spectrum, more engaged patients may have the physician confirm or dispute the patient’s diagnosis and recommended course of treatment.

            There is so much that unnecessarily requires a FDA #. Look what has happened with Nexium, Zantac, etc., all OTC. Pharmacists can do immunizations and “morning after pills (still need FDA#, but more patient directed and fewer barriers).

            In Europe, oral contraceptives are OTC. There is no reason that women are forced to undergo an unnecessary pelvic exam for OCs. I do note Planned Parenthood is developing an app for OCs to ease availability and PP does NOT require a PE for OCs.

            Wearables are allowing patients to track and monitor their own health eliminating the need for out patient testing.

            So we are making progress.

            As to high risk of dying, everybody has a 100% chance of dying. I prefer to focus on quality of life.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

            You didn’t answer the question. Let’s try again:

            The reason you go to a doctor is because you can have a life threatening condition like high blood pressure or cancer without having a clue. If you can’t even tell that you’re at high risk of dying, what difference does it make what you “know”?

          • A Banterings
            January 28, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

            I did answer the question.

            I first determines for myself that I should go. That is my own self diagnosis.

            Granted, some people are robots and just go because they were conditioned to go and question nothing.

            Once I decide to go, I have made a diagnosis.

            A more sophisticated patient, such as myself, is aware when there is a problem and goes for a second opinion. It is the same as when a physician calls a consult and wants a second opinion himself.

            I do NOT go for annual wellness exams. I do go for a maintenance medication I take for ADHD. That is just heart, lung, BR, and basic lab test (glucose, cholesterol, liver, etc.). I wouldn’t even go for that if it was not mandated by law.

            I know my BP, and I would know if something was amiss that could lead to cancer. 80% of all diagnosis are based on history alone which is nothing more than self-reporting.

            I did have to go once for stitches while traveling for work, but that was only because I did not have my suture kit with me.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

            Sophisticated? You are an ignorant fool, not sophisticated. Wait, let me amend that. You are a narcissistic, ignorant fool.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 28, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

            In my very extensive experience…many, many patients are exceptionally BAD at knowing their body and self-diagnosis.

          • Melissa
            January 28, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

            I’m a smart person with a law degree. Yet whenever I try to self-diagnose with Dr. Google I end up thinking I have cancer or lupus. Luckily I go into my doctors who run actual tests and listen to my symptoms and can explain that my wrist pain isn’t from some terrible auto-immune disorder but from the fact that I work 12 hours a day on a computer and then come home to play Guitar Hero for hours on end. Started using an ergonomic keyboard and fewer video games and I was healed.

            People tend to assume we are all special snowflakes and that our pains are signs of rare disorders and not just normal aging or simple lifestyle problems (not enough sleep, bad nutrition, etc.) That’s why it’s good to have an outside person to look at you objectively and tell you the truth. I wouldn’t ever work on my own legal case because I lack objectivity, and diagnosing my own medical issues are a problem for the same reason.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

            Heh. I actually tend to make the opposite assumption. “It’s nothing, just bruised it, too much time kneeling…. Oh, the bone is cracked? Nifty!”

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

            Oooohh, you’re a Minimizer. An order of magnitude more rare and an order of magnitude more dangerous than a Maximizer.

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

            I can relate… I am so bad about ignoring aches and pains until they get really annoying or interfere with my life…

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

            I like the ones who tell me they have a pain in their kidney, or ovary, or liver and then point to somewhere that is nowhere near the supposedly bothersome organ.

            In my experience, patients can be relied upon to correctly diagnose fungal nail infections, chicken pox, pink eye, and dense hemiplegic strokes.

            Not so much anything else.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

            I’ve had good luck picking out UTIs and ear infections. I miss the blood pressure every time.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

            My patients are excellent at diagnosing ear infections if the drum has perforated and pus and blood are running down their child’s neck.
            They are less accurate at the “he’s pulling at his ear, I think he has an infection” end of things. Quite often either their child likes pulling their ear, or they are teething.

            UTIs are hit and miss. The hit rate for pyelonephritis and recurrent cystitis is quite good, but my patients have misdiagnosed advanced pregnancy, ruptured aortic aneurysms, renal stones, diabetes and massive ovarian cysts as UTIs, so, again I’m a bit suspicious.

          • mythsayer
            January 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

            I seriously hate to be difficult, but not everyone is bad at self-diagnosing. Example: I have been having nasal drip, sore throats, bloody noses, and mucus build up in my nose for months. I have an autoimmune disease that was just diagnosed in June so I figured it was due to that. Finally I looked in my nose with a mirror and a light and saw… well… something not good. It was completely blocked. I did what I could to clear the mucus (mucinex, just in case it would help, saline… lots of saline) and then realized there is a huge mass in my nasal cavity. It scared the crap out of me. Finally I realized it was bone. I finally decided I couldn’t wait for a specialist and went to the ER just to make sure it wasn’t something serious (like a fast growing fungal infection). I told them there was a mass in my nose and I couldn’t breathe out of it and I would just like to know if it was a dangerous looking mass or something that could wait until I got in to see an ENT and whether I had a bacterial infection like I thought I might have. They looked inside and said “oh yeah, you need nose drops.” I told them “No… what I need is to know what the mass is… my nostril is closed… drops won’t help BECAUSE MY NOSTRIL IS NOW COMPLETELY OBSTRUCTED BY THE MASS IN MY NOSE.”

            After HOURS (because everyone else, including people who just had colds, were seen first… remember that even if there was no mass, I still had a completely blocked nostril with pus and blood so clearly something was wrong) I see the PA. She grills me on “how I know it’s a mass” and I told her “look… it’s bone, it’s attached, there is cartilage growing off of it somehow… it’s a mass of bone. Seriously.”

            They agree to do a CT scan. What do you know? I have a septal spur that takes up my entire nasal cavity. And yet… how could I possibly have known it was bone? That’s ridiculous… I’m not a doctor or even a nurse. After the results came back in, suddenly the PA started asking ME if I thought I had a bacterial infection. Suddenly I’m super credible. I said “well…. probably… considering there is pus and green mucus.” I got antibiotics and the peace of mind of knowing it’s not a mass that will kill me (although I just want to say that I’m really freaked out by the fact that there is a BONE growing out of my nostril…).

            Anyway… that’s been my life. My daughter had a staph infection. I called it… they refused to treat it bc it was a “spider bite” (it wasn’t). She got no treatment until after it was the size of a golf ball. She had monthly ear infections. They ignored me until the eardrum ruptured… this went on literally for over a year. And no… her ear wasn’t “fine.” Every single time they’d say “oh yeah, it’s red… just go home, she’ll be fine.” And then a few days later, burst eardrum again.

            I caught chicken pox and told a doctor at the urgent care when we lived in Japan on a military base. He didn’t even LOOK at me closely… just said “it’s a heat rash.” I specifically went to the urgent care because I was going to a baby shower and I needed to know if I was correct. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that it was NOT chicken pox. I asked if it was okay to go to the baby shower and was told yes, several times. By Monday (that was Saturday), the spots were everywhere and starting to scab over so back to the clinic I go. This time I see a doctor who said “yup, you’re right… chicken pox.” Later they tried to throw it back in my face… that I should have listened to my instincts and not gone to the shower if I really thought I had chicken pox. I told them “you know what? You’ve misdiagnosed me so many times… you can’t have it both ways. Either you give me the tests I ask for (like the MRI I was refused which I desperately needed as shown by the neck surgery I was rushed into after waiting 10 months to GET said MRI) or you actually diagnose properly so I can trust you.

            The bottom line is I have managed to tell doctors that I have very specific neurological issues, certain diseases, was able to identify uncovered bone in my nose (yeah… it’s white with no mucus membrane over it)… there’s more but it would take forever to go over it all.

            In response to your comment below, I can accurately diagnose a UTI every.single.time. I have permanent nerve damage in my shoulder because I was refused the MRI I requested (as I said above… ten months). I told them I was having headaches caused by a cervical spine issue. They said “you just have bad osteoarthritis… and it’s a tension headache (and that’s insulting… I think I know a tension headache when I get one). No. It wasn’t. I have multiple herniated discs in my neck. After the MRI they were screaming at me to be careful so I wouldn’t paralyze myself if I fell because my disc was herniated so badly.

            Here’s a good one! I started having stiff fingers in the morning and I’d also wake up in the middle of the night with completely numb arms. I was told I was sleeping on my arm wrong. Again, insulting. At 33 (at the time), I think I know what pins and needles are and I know they don’t feel like what I was feeling. Again… it was nerve damage. But they refused to believe that I knew what nerve damage felt like.

            Oh… and my daughter. She had reflux and a milk protein allergy. Diagnosed that… months later we discover I was right about both. But did anyone believe me? Nope.

            Honestly… I’m beyond frustrated with doctors. I realize that most people are horrendously bad at self diagnosing, but IMO that’s because they can’t take use relevant information and discard irrelevant information. It’s not that complicated for fairly common things. I can read studies just like the rest of you. If something doesn’t apply to me, I will say “nope… probably not.” I don’t try to fit myself into conditions. I fit conditions to my symptoms and I have a VERY good track record.

            I may not be able to tell you exactly what is causing my issue, but I can tell you enough to say “I need a CT scan for x,y,z reason” and be correct. I don’t appreciate being told “oh, you say you have a mass in your nose, but all I see is mucus… here… let’s try nose spray because you couldn’t possibly be correct about a bony mass in your nose. You must be overreacting.” No. No, I’m not. But see, the difference between my and most people is that I didn’t go to the ER screaming “I have a tumor!” I just went in and said “look, there is exposed bone in my nose… I can see that there are at least 50 things that could cause a growth in the nose, and I honestly don’t know what is causing it, but I can tell you with certainty that it’s a) bone, b) exposed, c) attached and not moving d) has cartilage also growing off it… I need a CT scan.”

            I can’t really blame doctors, though (it doesn’t stop me from doing it, but I try to be nice anyway). I’m an attorney and I want to punch people who come into my office and try to argue with me about how great their case is when they have an absolutely crap case. At the same time, I don’t dismiss them outright and assume they can’t possibly understand legal theories. I give them a fair shot and if it’s clear they understand, I treat them like they understand. What I DO NOT do is dismiss them outright and act like I’m a million times smarter because I went to law school. That’s been my experience with doctors (I like all the doctors on Dr. Amy’s page, though… it’s nice to see doctors act like people once in awhile… and everyone here seems nice… and it sounds like you at least listen to your patients). The masses have made medical professionals jaded and cynical. That sucks for people like me who can accurately tell you whether something is at least a real problem and what kind of test is probably necessary. I don’t mean to be insulting, honestly. It’s just been years of frustration.

            Oh… one last anecdote before I go (to see a doctor, actually…). So I had a tummy tuck and thigh lift and when I woke up, I couldn’t move my right foot. At all. They sent me home and said I’d be fine once the anesthesia totally wore off. Well… a week later, I wasn’t better at all. So I start to do research. And I learn all about positioning injuries. I told my surgeon the next time I saw her that I knew what it was and said “if it’s not better in 6 to 8 weeks, I’ll let you know.” And…. voila…. better by 6, totally fine by 8. How did I know what I had? The doctor certainly didn’t tell me. I figured it out because I understand how to apply symptoms to things.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

            You’re smart, and actually do your research.
            That is…not as common as I would like it to be.

            I’m afraid that people who come in with a child with “meningococcal septicaemia” and a non blanching rash, who in actual fact have a very well child covered in the purple felt tip pen they’ve been playing with, do rather ruin it for everyone else.

            I don’t expect people to diagnose themselves correctly. I’m happy when they do, but usually a bit surprised.

            I’m also not averse to humouring people- if the test they want is cheap and easy and quick, why not arrange it? If it confirms their diagnosis, they’re happy and I’m the helpful Dr who got them the answer they wanted, if it doesn’t, I’m still the Dr who took their concerns seriously and perhaps they’ll be more likely to accept my alternative diagnosis and treatment plan, and won’t constantly wonder if they really have the thing they thought it was.
            I’m sneaky like that.

          • Bugsy
            January 28, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

            Just to clarify, you mention that in Europe, “oral contraceptives are OTC.”

            Really? In September of 2014, the BBC ran an article stating exactly the opposite:

            “Although most of Western Europe, including the UK, requires physician approval for the pill, much of the rest of the world allows the sale either with an in-store pharmacy consultation or no approval whatsoever.”

            http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-29246960

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

          Like what illnesses?

          • curiousmama
            January 27, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

            pertussis, influenza, measles, chicken pox…there are risks and dangers associated with these illnesses, along with unpleasant side effects. There are many who would say it is our moral duty to protect our children and other people’s children from contracting illnesses that vaccines have been created to prevent. However, it does not take an expert in immunology to recognize that these illnesses are different than smallpox. The vaccines are different than the one for smallpox, and the measles may not be able to be eradicated worldwide like smallpox was (perhaps due in part to the difference in vaccine profiles…the smallpox vaccine is live virus).

          • Young CC Prof
            January 27, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

            The measles vaccine is a live vaccine. One dose confers good immunity in 95% of people, two doses give lifetime immunity in 99% of people. We could use it to eradicate measles within the next decade or two, if people didn’t have irrational fears about it.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 8:08 am #

            “There are many who would say it is our moral duty to protect our children and other people’s children from contracting illnesses that vaccines have been created to prevent. ”

            Sounds good to me! A childhood friend of mine died of Chicken Pox. I remember when we heard he was in the ICU. The entire church got together for a prayer vigil. It didn’t work. My sister is a pediatrician. Her first patient on her first day of residency was a little boy she admitted to the hospital with chicken pox. It was too late, the team couldn’t save him. It went to his lungs and he died on the vent. I worked in a genetics lab during medical school to help pay my way through. My lab mate was profoundly deaf from prenatal rubella exposure. I have a patient who is over 100. She taught school in North Dakota in a one room school house during the Dust Bowl years. 80 years later she sat in my exam room and cried for a little second grade boy who had died of diphtheria half way through her first teaching year. She remembered his name, and his red hair and the day he started to come down ill at school. My mother was part of the anti-vax trend in the 1970s and 80s. She convinced my aunt to do the same (luckily I was already vaxed). She figured natural immunity was better and problems only happened to weak people. We had a huge garden where we grew our own vegetables organically and didn’t eat any sugar or white flour. She figured we were strong. My brother came down with pertussis and gave it to my sister. They coughed for 3 months, broke blood vessels in their eyes and wet their pants. But they were ok. But they gave it to my baby cousin who was not ok and ended up in the hospital for respiratory support. He has permanent lung problems.

            I wonder if you care when you hear these stories, or whether you believe you and your family are somehow better and magically protected as my mother did?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:26 am #

            I don’t believe in magic or cure-alls. I want the truth, and honest conversation, and I appreciate you sharing your own experience.

          • Who?
            January 29, 2015 at 12:41 am #

            The truth is vaccine is safer than the illnesses it protects against. The truth is also that it is hard to see our children get hurt, and that doesn’t get any easier. And little babies looking up at you with their trusting eyes as the needles go in feels rotten, though not as rotten as seeing them seriously ill from vaccine preventable diseases would.

            As parents, we have to make decisions every day. Vaccination is one of the easier ones, because the science is in.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 8:46 am #

            “I don’t believe in magic or cure-alls. I want the truth, and honest conversation”

            Terrific, then we are on the same page! So I would like to go back then to your prior statement “There are many who would say it is our moral duty to protect our children and other people’s children from contracting illnesses that vaccines have been created to prevent. ” What do you say? Are you one of those people who believe we have a moral duty to protect our children and other people’s children? Or is it ok to reject the diphtheria vaccine and kill second graders? Because the USSR/Russia experiment shows that deviating from the shot schedule for only a couple of years and not vaccinating babies for this and not giving adults their boosters leads to the very rapid resurgence of diphtheria and multiple deaths. So what do you say?

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 28, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

            The measles vaccine is also a live attenuated virus.

            And that biggest difference between the measles vaccine and the smallpox vaccine? The measles vaccine is an order of magnitude SAFER than the smallpox vaccine.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

          That doesn’t follow.

          “Looking for something better” does not require that vaccination is “flawed,” whatever that means.

          We have great research going on all the time to find better ways to things, including the prevention of diseases. Nothing we have so far is better than vaccination from a public health perspective, but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep looking.

        • KarenJJ
          January 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

          I’l just keep walking everywhere until they build a car that drives itself. Cars are so flawed these days.

        • Stacy48918
          January 27, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

          No one ever claimed vaccines are perfect. In fact millions of dollars have been spent and continue to be spent to advance vaccine technology, in terms of safety and effectiveness. What exactly do you have to offer that’s a better approach? What do you have to even back up the assertion that “vaccination may be a flawed approach to prevent certain illnesses”?

        • moto_librarian
          January 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

          You are an idiot. Sorry, I am out of patience with people who do not vaccinate on schedule. The CDC has the schedule for a reason, based on solid epidemiological evidence. You are irresponsible. I certainly hope that your kids do not pay for it. I breathed a sigh of relief that both of mine have had doses of MMR already given the current measles outbreak.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:24 am #

            You aren’t sorry, because you obviously wanted to call me an idiot. I don’t take the decision to delay vaccination lightly, because I am a parent and I don’t want my children to encounter the hardship of disease (or any harmful experience).

            I may disagree with a lot of the “woo” on mom websites, but at least there is usually an attitude of acceptance and support instead of constant negativity. Since I haven’t stated that vaccines are unnecessary or that my son will never have them, why not respect me as a fellow parent and spare the personal attacks?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 12:31 am #

            You’d do better to start by asking real questions, like, “I’m not sure whether to vaccinate my child, here are some concerns I have.” Then tell us what your specific concerns are.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:45 am #

            I may not have phrased it the way you prefer, but I gave two of my general concerns in my original post. I am concerned with the consensus viewpoint among pro-vaccine sources that the CDC schedule be followed to the letter, with the only exceptions in the case of allergies or compromised immune system.

            There are reasons for the schedule, and I can understand them, I just also see the other side too. What about the fact that we can’t mitigate all risk in life… should that be our endgame? Does every disease need eradication? Does it ever benefit the immune system to get sick versus having the symptoms suppressed?

            I am overtired and probably not expressing myself well, but I just want to know that I am doing the right thing. I also want to have ALL the facts, raw data, etc before I make a decision, and that is an impossibility in most areas I am curious about…so I have to reach a compromise. I am a big believer in moral black and whites, but in this subject I am in the middle of the road…in the grey, so to speak.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 12:53 am #

            OK, here’s the problem with the anti-vaccine movement. They’ve built the myth that the CDC represents one extreme viewpoint and they represent the other. In fact, the CDC schedule IS the middle of the road, based on the medical and financial costs of vaccinating versus not vaccinating. Not every vaccine in existence is on the standard US schedule, remember.

            Should we mitigate all risks in life? No. When the risk is small and the cost of preventing it high, ignoring the risk may make sense. However, when a risk is serious and can be mitigated easily, why not?

            “Does it ever benefit the immune system to get sick versus having the symptoms suppressed?”

            This question doesn’t even make sense. Vaccines don’t suppress the symptoms of anything. Whether it benefits the immune system to get sick is a complicated question, but remember, your children will get sick no matter what you do or don’t do. There are plenty of bugs out there! Vaccines only prevent the ones that are most likely to cause serious problems.

          • momofone
            January 30, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

            That “attitude of acceptance and support” vanishes the second you challenge the fuzzy-wuzzy beliefs. Apparently you haven’t.

        • Samantha06
          January 29, 2015 at 1:33 am #

          “Well, quite frankly, the fact that many commenters (including Dr. Amy) do not actively acknowledge that vaccination may be a flawed approach to prevent certain illnesses.”

          Do you have a better, scientifically proven alternative? I’m guessing the answer is no. Vaccination- a “flawed approach”.. that’s insane. Moto is right, You are irresponsible, like the rest of the anti-vaxxers. And let me add, that the “attitude of acceptance” on the woo-based websites is exactly what sucks people into their nonsense.. because they’re “nice” while they feed you their lies. At least you’ll get the truth on this blog. It just may not be what you want to hear.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

      First, those are some of the most tangled sentences I’ve ever read, worse than ones written by folks with non-European first languages. I don’t even know what you’re asking, or saying.

      Second, the original smallpox vaccine worked only for 10 years. It was still sufficient to wipe the disease off the planet. Current vaccines for many diseases, including polio and measles, are far better than the original smallpox vaccine, safer, more reliable, and longer-lasting.

      • curiousmama
        January 27, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

        I was trying to confer the most meaning in the shortest space…while caring for an infant and lacking a full night’s sleep. Yes, my sentences are long, and the thoughts behind them are much longer!

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

          You have an infant and are against vaccination? You’re a real nut. Even if you choose not to vaccinate your own baby you at least have to be grateful for the herd immunity you are poaching off of, no?

    • fiftyfifty1
      January 27, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      ” What was the original purpose behind vaccination – full and lasting immunity, or occasional, fading immunity?”

      Are you saying that you wish that instead of the current shot schedules that full immunity was gained with just one shot and no boosters were needed? So basically wanting to move research in the direction of searching for a super adjuvant? Okay, tell us more…

      • Young CC Prof
        January 27, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

        I’d like that, if all of our vaccines conferred lifelong immunity with one dose! I hope someone is working on that. Also, on how to keep my living room clean for more than an hour at a time.

        Until they figure it out, though, I’ll just keep getting boosters as needed. And fighting the toddler tide on the cleaning front.

        • Roadstergal
          January 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

          Yeah, people are working on that. A lot. It’s not simple. As noted above, even ‘natural’ immunity (if you’ve studied immunology, that’s a pretty ridiculous concept – all immunity is natural, the body sees an antigen and starts off a set of truly fascinating and intricate cascades in response, and it’ll do that in the presence of adjuvant whether the antigen is a live virus or a purified protein conjugated to a carrier) doesn’t always confer lifelong immunity. Immunity isn’t a simple yes/no thing; the immune system is a complex structure with many different cascades of signaling and development that can branch and re-form, work against each other or in parallel, like a river delta.

          The skin is a critical organ of the immune system, BTW. So I always wonder why those who take supplements that ‘boost the immune system’ don’t have a thicker skin. :p

          (It’s not a direct 1:1 sort of thing, but there are some tradeoffs between duration of immunity and safety of the vaccine, of course. Myself, I’ll take a few boosters in trade for a very safe vaccine.)

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:15 am #

            thank you for your thoughtful post. good point about “natural” immunity!

      • curiousmama
        January 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

        Yes, and perhaps some serious research into the difference between the body’s immunological response to some of the less long-lasting, effective vaccines (like pertussis) and its response to getting the actual illness…I understand that natural, home-based medicine is probably anathema to many commenters here, but if it is more beneficial (and confers truer immunity) for certain members of the population to get these illnesses, perhaps the research and effort could be made on how to bolster the immune system to withstand them, rather than focusing so much on prevention.

        • January 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

          If it worked better it would be used. You know what they call alternative medicine that works? MEDICINE.

        • Stacy48918
          January 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

          We should research how to better help people suffer through a disease rather than prevent it in the first place? I’m sorry but that’s really an idiotic idea. YOU can get all those horrible diseases, I’ll take a shot please and thank you.

        • Stacy48918
          January 27, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

          And you do realize that even “natural immunity” isn’t 100% and lifelong in every case, right? Well first you have to NOT DIE, of course, but even natural immunity can wane.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 12:26 am #

            My aunt had chicken pox as a child. Then she came down with it again a few days after giving birth, because her wonderful lifetime immunity faded. The baby survived, but it was a near thing, weeks in Children’s Hospital.

            Vaccinating her older child and his classmates would have done a much better job of protecting the family, if the vaccine was available at that time.

          • Who?
            January 28, 2015 at 12:29 am #

            I had the mumps twice. Really nasty both times.

          • Siri
            January 28, 2015 at 4:21 am #

            I was vaccinated against pertussis as a baby, and have contracted it twice; once in infancy and once as an adult. It’s a horrible, debilitating illness; for weeks I just got worse and worse until I thought I was dying. Do I still advocate for the vaccine? Yep. No-brainer. And I always advise adults to get their boosters if they want to avoid being ill for three months.

        • January 28, 2015 at 2:43 am #

          Have you ever seen or heard whooping cough (pertussis)? It’s freaking terrifying, it’s not fun at all, it can kill people. People cough so hard they vomit lots of times over the day- one woman had vomit buckets in her house for months because, yes, it takes months to stop coughing and she was vomiting at least 2-5 times per day every day for months. People cough so hard they break ribs, for crying out loud! And babies, well, babies just die.

          A longer-lasting immunity is just not worth that. Get the damn shot every 10 years and be grateful.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:48 am #

            Yes I have heard the cough and even read a blog post of a mom who had 3 kids down with whooping cough at the same time…it isn’t fun.

          • momofone
            January 29, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

            Even less “fun” when you have to bury them.

          • January 30, 2015 at 2:15 am #

            Right. So why the hell are you against the vaccine that stops this disease?

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

          Seriously? You think we shouldn’t prevent pertussis but rather let people get it and try to “bolster” them through it? Even if the healthiest among us could be effectively “bolstered” so they lived through without complication, what of all the weaker people (old people, babies, asthma patients, cancer patients etc) who would get the illness and die? Or is it about Survival of the Fittest for you?

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

            No kidding. Coughing until I break my ribs? Coughing until I vomit? Coughing until I turn blue from lack of oxygen? For 100 days?!?!

            GIVE ME THE SHOT!

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:47 am #

            it is true that whooping cough can be quite awful and it lasts a long time

          • momofone
            January 29, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

            I know a woman who lost two babies to whooping cough, an eight-month-old daughter, and, a year or so later, a six-week-old son. “Quite awful” doesn’t begin to cover it.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

            It nearly killed my sister. Twice.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:46 am #

            I am wondering about “bolstering”, I did not conclude that was the best option.

        • S
          January 28, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

          “…and its response to getting the actual illness…”

          You do understand the purpose of a vaccine?

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          January 28, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

          So, you realize that natural immunity from pertussis only lasts a few years, too, right?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:12 am #

            http://whoopingcough.net

            I found this site helpful, it seems quite balanced. From what I gathered, natural immunity lasts longer than the vaccine…but is not guaranteed lifetime

        • Siri
          January 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

          Yes indeed, why focus on prevention when treating severely ill children is so much cheaper and easier? Whoever said prevention is better than cure was clearly deluded.

    • LibrarianSarah
      January 27, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

      This must be the most ironic (I would use the word hypocritical but that implies conscious effort that is absent here) comments I have ever read on the internet. Curiousmama accuses provaxxers (and antivaxxers to be intellectually honest) of partisianship which is a form of black and white thinking. However in the very same comment she engages in a heaping dose of black and white thinking.

      Let’s start with the very first sentence where she frames this issue as one of experts vs. laypeople, black vs white. In reality, there are many parties involved. There are the experts (pediatricians, immunologists, doctors, nurses, the CDC etc), people who listen to those experts (most people thankfully), charlatans/renegades (Wakefield, Sears, etc), people who listen to the charlatans/renegades (antivaxxers), activists for the experts (Brian Deer, skeptics, autism self advocates), and activists for the charlatans/renegades (Jenny McCarthy, antivax bloggers etc). Each of these actors have their own motivations for example an autistic self advocate will have a very different veiwpoint than a skeptic even though they are on the same “side.”

      Then there is the rest of the comment which is more obvious in its black/white thinking. It appears that, according to curiousmama, since vaccines are not perfect and don’t provide lifelong

      • LibrarianSarah
        January 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

        Immunity, then they are useless and we should give up on them. If that is not black/white thinking I don’t know what is.

        • curiousmama
          January 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

          No…that is not what I asked. You, LibrarianSarah, are overreacting to a simple query on whether the vaccine platform is effective enough to combat diseases like measles, chicken pox, etc. My point on calling out the polarization between “experts” and “laypeople” is that discussion amongst parents and medical professionals/science minded people becomes quite difficult if parental concern about some of the vaccination requirements is brushed off as ignorance due to “lack of expertise” in an area that (let’s be honest) is still quite mysterious…immunology and intricate bodily reactions to the environment are still being studied, research, and discovered. To suggest that questioning vaccines for certain diseases is “ignorant” is quite unscientific…the point of science, especially medical science, is to maintain always a healthy skepticism and openness to further knowledge.

          • LibrarianSarah
            January 28, 2015 at 9:01 am #

            First of all it is not my fault that you failed to comunicate your points clearly. I suggest you take a writing class at your local community college because your coments are very hard to parse through.

            Laypeople by definition are ignorant. The word “ignorant” means “lack of knowledge or expertise.” A layperson lacks the knowledge or expertise to that an expert has and is therefore ignorant.

            Secondly, we have a pretty good idea on how vaccines work. There is nothing “mysterious” about it. And more importantly, we know that they do work and that the are safe. We have eliminated dangerous and deadly diseases through vaccination.

            Last but not least, there is a difference between skepticism and denialism. Skeptics look at the evidence and make a descision based on the amount and quality of the evidence. Denialists pretend to be skeptics but in reality they do not care about the evidence. They come to the party with a certain fixed belief and won’t change their mind no matter what the evidence says. The evidence in favor of vaccination is overwhelming. Only a denialist would doubt at this point.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

            This is the first time I have engaged in an internet discussion on this topic. I write differently than I speak – if this were a face-to-face conversation, I would probably be able to synthesize my thoughts more clearly (and also wouldn’t try to shove them all into one post). Also, I have a six month old and am functioning on little sleep…perhaps you could be gracious.

            Skeptics are not just those that make a decision based on the best evidence…they also question current evidence/research to get further clarification. It is arrogant to say that doubting (or questioning, in other words) certain vaccinations=denialism. That is dismissing valid questions which many parents in the middle of the pro/con debate have, including myself.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

            Questioning is not the same thing as doubting.

            “Can you explain why vaccines last different times?” = question
            “Since all vaccines aren’t the same as smallpox the vaccine platform isn’t effective enough to combat disease.” = doubt

            Is your child current on her vaccines?

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

            I don’t have unlimited internet time to argue on semantics – I never said definitively that vaccines aren’t effective enough, so if you want to put words in my mouth and make your assumptions about my position, go ahead. I came here with questions and get called a doubter. No, my child is not current on his vaccines, and I have partnered with my very pro-vaccine pediatrician on that decision. That does not mean I am anti-vaxx, or never going to vaccinate, or that I take this lightly.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

            “I don’t have unlimited internet time to argue on semantics ”

            Once again, another parachuter who is so very, very busy. Not quite so busy that she can’t make claims, but certainly much too busy to back up her claims! What are the incredibly vital activities that absorb all the time of these oh so important people?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

            Making unsubstantiated claims on other websites.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:11 am #

            I can barely keep up with the comments on this site, and it is already past my bedtime. I am not a troll, which is what you are accusing me of.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:09 am #

            I have made no claims. I posted two questions hoping to engage in an adult discussion, and I do not have internet at home which makes it a bit difficult for me to be a part of any online forum. I am house-sitting and they have WiFi, but I leave tomorrow.

    • Stacy48918
      January 27, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

      The original purpose of vaccines? To prevent people from DYING.

      You’re asserting that because EVERY vaccine doesn’t provide the exact same immunity as the smallpox vaccine that we should do away with all vaccines? That’s ludicrous.

      Yes, every disease is different and so every vaccine is different.

      You aren’t coming here to genuinely learn more. You already have it set in your mind that vaccines aren’t the way to go and we should explore other options. You’re ready to do away with all vaccines jut because they don’t meet your standards of perfection.

      • curiousmama
        January 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

        I am not asserting that we do away with all vaccines. Based on my limited knowledge, I have drawn the conclusion that vaccinations are used to prevent both generally serious threats to public health, and also lesser diseases that do not threaten the population as a whole (such as HPV).
        Based on that, I have a concern that because “vaccination” is such a favored approach, perhaps other ways to combat these lesser illnesses are being passed over…or research on alternatives is not funded in favor of further vaccine research. I may be short on sleep and time, but that doesn’t seem like an illogical concern.

        As for the rest of your charges against me, I hope you realize that your words have meaning, even over the internet. I have never spoken with you before, and I don’t make assumptions about you…please extend me the same courtesy.

        • Guesteleh
          January 28, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

          lesser diseases that do not threaten the population as a whole (such as HPV).

          Nearly every sexually active woman in the world is infected with HPV. Some strains of HPV are directly linked to cervical cancer. About 12,000 U.S. women get cervical cancer each year and 4,000 U.S. women die of it annually. Cervical cancer is treatable but at great cost and pain. The HPV vaccine has the potential to prevent thousands of cancer cases, save thousands of lives and spare thousands more the pain and suffering of cancer treatment.

          You are speaking from ignorance but you refuse to admit it. That’s why people are frustrated with you. Have some humility, read real sources of information and educate yourself.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

            HPV does not carry the same death rate or hospitalization rate as every other disease we have vaccinations for. Though it is estimated there is a high infection rate, unlike diphtheria or the measles, many cases show NO symptoms and HPV infection goes away within a couple years (per the CDC fact sheet).
            So no, I am not speaking from ignorance. And since safe sex, limited sexual intercourse/few sexual partners can prevent even contracting HPV, it cannot be compared to illnesses such as the chicken pox, which is spread through much less intimate social contact.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

            70% of cervical cancer cases can be PREVENTED with this vaccine.

            WE CAN PREVENT CANCER with a shot.

            Why would you want to deny your child that protection?

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

            Really? Since the HPV shot is not the only thing standing between a child and cancer, how on earth can you make this emotional appeal with any seriousness? First, cancer is not a foregone conclusion for every HPV sufferer. Second, I clearly stated above that responsible sexual behavior (and that of your partner) can prevent HPV infection.

          • attitude devant
            January 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

            Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
            I can be responsible all I want, but if I am raped or my partner has had other partners before me, I am at risk even if I marry as a virgin. Don’t be absurd.

          • Cobalt
            January 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

            Is vaginal intercourse really the only transmission route for HPV? I’ve seen stuff urging vaccination for boys too, not just because they are transmission vectors but because HPV can also cause oral and anal cancers.

            Could oral transmission include kissing? Regular skin to skin contact?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

            Yes, a family friend just finished his treatment for HPV positive tongue cancer. He’s a bit of a wise guy. He says “I could have got it from kissing or maybe from oral sex. I hope I got it from oral sex.”

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

            Michael Douglas admitted a while back he has HPV-related throat cancer contracted from oral sex.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

            Yes, and sharing sex toys, and other sexual activities.

            Which is why ALL sexually active women, even women who have never had PIV intercourse with a man need to have cervical smears.

            If anyone’s anything has been in the vicinity of your cervix, you should be having smears.

            Unfortunately, a significant proportion of cervical cancers are in women who have exclusively female partners and who don’t realise they are at risk of HPV, so don’t go for smears.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

            Oh, I should also add…

            “Sexual activity” is quite often interpreted to mean PIV sex, i.e. The Clinton Definition.

            There are also a LOT of heterosexual people who consider themselves to be virgins who have been exposed to HPV through sexual activities that aren’t
            PIV intercourse.

            Some of those people might even believe that they are saving themselves for marriage and being responsible.

            HPV is just a wart virus. Some HPV lives on hands and feet and causes verrucas and hand warts. Some HPV likes mucous membranes and lives in mouths and on genitals. Some HPV isn’t really very fussy where it lives. Some HPV is oncogenic, some isn’t. Some HPV causes visible lesions, some doesn’t.
            HPV is probably part of our microbiome. Most of us clear the viruses without symptoms. Some of us clear the viruses only after getting symptoms. Some of us never really clear the virus at all, or only after it has mutated some of our cells and given us cancer.

            We can prevent the strains that cause cancer and warts by vaccinating. The vaccines are safe and so far seem to be effective.
            We’re never going to eradicate HPV by any other means, so why not go for the option we have at present, which is the best one we have?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:44 am #

            I never said you wouldn’t be at risk in those situations.

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 7:51 am #

            Really? I thought HPV was preventable by other actions beside the vaccine?

            Go crawl under you rock where you can practice abstinence to your heart’s content. For myself, I’m ready to kill cockroaches all day long, rather than give up sex. It’s a good thing that I confess it, then, heh? This way, if this Amazed slut gets HPV, it would have been her own fault for not preventing it by practicing Holy Abstinence. It isn’t as if women who enjoy sex are worthy of being protected. As to those who are raped or get it from their one partner, well, there is risk in those situations, so all is peachy.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

            And you want people to take you seriously.

            Just don’t be a slut? Just don’t get raped? That’s your plan for preventing/eliminating HPV cervical cancer? Give me a break.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:43 am #

            um, no. If you look at my original post on HPV, I clearly stated that HPV is a) preventable by other actions besides the vaccine and b) it does not always, or even mostly, lead to cancer. The person I wrote this in response to implied that I was not protecting my child from cancer if I chose not to do the HPV vaccine. I disagreed.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

            Wow. I’ve had one sex partner. He had one partner before me. I have HPV, (contracted from him, obviously). How were we sexually irresponsible?

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

            I sympathize with your HPV diagnosis, thank you for your candor, and of course believe that your situation is the next best thing to two virgins becoming lifelong sex partners (in the context of HPV infection). Obviously, this is not a perfect world, and even those who have self control and (at the very least) wait to have sex until they are in a deeply committed, loving, long term relationship can still contract HPV.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

            “Abstinence” has not been an effective approach to birth control or controlling any STDs in the past. Talk about “failed approaches’! For pete’s sake.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

            Actually, abstinence is the best form of STD and birth control prevention, when it is actually practiced. Perhaps you meant to say “programs that teach abstinence”?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

            Since it isn’t actually practiced, it’s a terrible approach to promote.

            How do you “teach” abstinence, btw?

            OK Miss “I don’t have time to deal with pedantry” let’s go with: hoping for abstinence is a failed approach.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

            “Programs that teach abstinence” fail. Abysmally.
            Vaccines prevent disease. Wonderfully.

            You are choosing a PROVEN failed technique over a PROVEN successful one.

            And one can “practice” abstinence all they want, until they’re raped. Which 1 in 4 women will be. How does your view help that woman in any way?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:40 am #

            You bring up the 1 in 4 statistic and I am curious what study or source you got that from. I hear the number thrown out in different blogs/opinion posts, but never see a link to the source.

          • Guestelehs
            January 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

            Did you know that 40 percent of all pregnancies int he G

          • Guesteleh
            January 28, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

            Grr: 40 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. Abstinence is fiction.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

            And 60% of those (24% of the total) involve women who were not using contraception.

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

            “Practiced” is the key word here…. more of that magical thinking that isn’t based in reality…

          • Melissa
            January 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

            Abstinence is unrealistic.

            Why? Because some people like to have sex. Some of us don’t want to get married. Some of us don’t believe that there is anything wrong with having sex outside of marriage since we put as much stock in God and The Bible as any fictional character and book.

            Based on the number of people who report that they are sexually active it is actually quite a number of people who fall into this group. We represent a market that would like to be protected from negative consequences of sex (like pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections). Why exactly should we not get the products that we want just because some other people believe it is morally wrong? Plenty of people find meat eating to be morally wrong but we still have the USDA inspect beef and try to treat the increase in heart disease and other diseases related to high red meat diets.

          • Cobalt
            January 28, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

            THANK YOU!

            Just like seatbelts and helmets, vaccines reduce some of the risks of everyday life. And yes, sex can and should be treated as a normal part of life. Because it is.

            People have sex. Informed consent is sexual responsibility.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 9:00 am #

            And yes, sex can and should be treated as a normal part of life. Because it is.

            I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t the whole motivation behind her initial comment – it’s all about slut shaming. All this “is there a better approach than vaccines” was just a lead in to this silly “abstinence” crap.

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 9:22 am #

            Oh yes. As I pointed out, she deliberately substitutes health for her perception of “morals”. The vaccine is best, she even admitted so herself, but she’d rather replace it with something that has been proven not to work and to the extent it does, it’ll only protect (again, not flawlessly!) the ones she thinks superior.

          • Who?
            January 28, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

            Abstinence assumes consent. A big assumption where many especially young women are concerned.

            Running the abstinence argument discounts the lived experience of many. And won’t be much comfort when a rape victim gets hpv, easily avoided by a quick needle.

          • demodocus' spouse
            January 28, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

            My husband practiced abstinence, except when he was raped.

          • Guesteleh
            January 29, 2015 at 10:25 am #

            God, that’s awful. I’m sorry.

          • demodocus' spouse
            January 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

            yeah, it sucked. Fortunately for him, some quirk in his psyche generally lets him file the incident under sometimes major crap happens.

          • January 29, 2015 at 12:54 am #

            Actually, it isn’t. See, for every form of birth control and STI prevention, we look at perfect use and we look at actual use. The perfect use statistics tell us how the method would work if someone used it perfectly, while the actual use statistics tell us how well it works when fallible humans actually put it into practice.

            The actual use stats on abstinence are mind-bogglingly awful. Abstinence is actually by far the worst birth control and STI prevention mechanism, bar none. It’s worse birth control than the rhythm method, for fuck’s sake! This is because while many people intend to be abstinent, they fail at it. They get overwhelmed by hormones, they think “just this once”, whatever. Abstinence also doesn’t protect people from rape, as has been pointed out numerous times.

            So, no, there is absolutely no way to claim that abstinence is at all good at birth control or STI prevention. It’s just not effective in actual use.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:38 am #

            I would agree that the actual use statistics are awful when it comes to abstinence, and obviously if we were to rely on this method as a means of prevention, a LOT of cultural changes would need to occur…which won’t happen, obviously. My point was that someone truly practicing abstinence is at very low risk, barring rape or other extreme factors.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 9:37 am #

            “a LOT of cultural changes would need to occur…which won’t happen, obviously”

            So then let’s USE A VACCINE!

            Since you admit that we can’t live in your fairy-tale abstinence land (which doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, BTW), then let’s use something that actually works!

          • January 30, 2015 at 2:10 am #

            1 in 4 women will be raped in her lifetime. I’m not sure I can call that an extreme factor.

            But, that aside, since you know that abstinence isn’t a viable option, why are you against the HPV vaccine again?

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

            And I’m guessing she thinks slut shaming can prevent teen pregnancy too…

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

            I bet “curiousmama” feeds her babies “mama milk”…

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:33 am #

            only have one child, and I am surprised at the juvenile tone of your post. Is it now wrong to breastfeed, or does that somehow implicate me as being a radical person?

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 1:13 am #

            Now you understand how your statements about “responsible sexual behavior” and “abstinence” resonate. Your tone is very similar to another poster, Nikkilee, a Lactation Consultant who was debating on the recent post about the Similac video. She called breast milk “mama milk” and her tone was quite superior and patronizing. Your comments convey ignorance and mistrust of the medical system and it’s extremely frustrating to try to educate people who have bought into the woo. I deal with this on a daily basis and sometimes it’s like talking to a brick wall. And people who have bought into this line of thinking eventually have to face reality, and when they do, they sometimes blame doctors and other healthcare workers because they can’t deal with the truth. I totally agree with Stacy. Why would you deny your six month old child vaccine protection? Because you have bought into pseudoscience. It’s very frustrating to us when you ask the same question over and over that so many others like you ask- why can’t we look at “alternatives.” And you’ve been answered, over and over, but you keep asking, hoping we will give you the response you want. So many others have dropped in to argue about the “benefits” of home birth, (read Matt’s comments/arguments on Microbirth), breastfeeding, vaccines, etc with the same questions and arguments. We are educated, experienced professionals who trust medicine and science because we know it’s authentic and we see how it saves lives every day. Be grateful you actually have access to it, because so many others in this world do not.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:35 am #

            I am grateful, every day, for the situation I am in. I am here, being truthful about all the details even though I have previously read enough comments/posts to know there was the possibility I would get ridiculed. It would have been quite easy to either not divulge my child’s immunization status or lie about it to gain the approval of everyone on here.

            I’m not here to argue against vaccines, and have made it pretty clear that I don’t ascribe to pseudoscience or talking points by Dr. Sears or anyone else. If my questions sometimes seem repeated, it is because I have had to leave and come back to the forum and I am trying quite hard to keep track of what I have already asked/said. It doesn’t help that I am short on sleep.

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 2:58 am #

            Well it’s not helping when you continually ask why can’t we consider “alternatives” to vaccines? There are no better alternatives, other than contracting the disease itself and getting severely ill and potentially infecting others! Vaccines prevent disease and it’s irresponsible and selfish to not vaccinate your child and potentially harm others. If you TRULY do not believe in pseudoscience are TRULY not anti-vax, listen to your doctor, take some responsibility and get your child immunized TOMORROW. What are you waiting for? An “alternative” that doesn’t exist?

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 7:46 am #

            No, you’re here to copy all the false points anti-vaxxers make and then insist that you don’t argue against vaccines. You’re here to make moral judgments and not seeing past your own nose, focusing on the tone of people who actually live with the problems you’re so sure you know how to prevent (mostly). Interesting that you claim you’re only trying to learn when all you seem to have read is anti-vax propaganda.

            I’ll spell it clearly for you: vaccines aren’t perfect. But they are the best shot we have right now to avoid terrible diseases. They are one of the greatest discoveries medicine has ever made. So until we reach perfection, we’ll stick to them.

            In elementary school, there was a boy in my class who I suppose might not have been vaccinated. He had a heart defect and was more vulnerable to common illnesses than most of us. I don’t think I would have forgiven myself if I had given him a not so common illness that I, being the healthy child I was, recovered from easily. Neither would have my mother. But well, that’s a problem you and your kid will never meet, eh? Seeing how sensitive you are to anyone who points out your bullshit with less than sweet crooning, even when they have contracted a thing like HPV. They don’t have the right to be irritated, offended, or whatever because your tender sensitivities are all that matters. And since that’s the attitude you’re going to impart to your kid, no problem.

            By the way, I cannot ask the boy I was talking about whether he was vaccinated. He died at age 9. But not of something that we, the healthy members of society gave him when it could have been prevented.

            And yes, I did enjoy pointing out your selfishness. See? I saved you having to write the question. I believe that this level of “me, me, me, I’m the world!” should be exposed.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 9:35 am #

            “I don’t ascribe to pseudoscience”
            Except of course for promoting abstinence only teaching.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 9:43 am #

            I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again: You can’t teach abstinence.

            There is no such thing as “teaching abstinence.” You can _promote_ abstinence, but it fails.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:28 am #

            If every medical professional, parent, and authority figure urged children to wait for that special someone (i.e. marriage) before having sex and did all in their power to support that message, you would completely alter the force of this infection. I realize that many people do not agree with the idea of self control applied to sex, or that it is a special act to be reserved for marriage…and that’s fine to disagree with my moral view on this issue. But, all differences aside, I think you can agree that if the culture overwhelmingly supported abstinence, chastity, and respect, that STDs, pregnancy, and other consequences would most likely drastically decrease. It isn’t the abstinence message that is faulty, but rather the inconsistency between that message and the many other messages in our culture that are sexually permissive.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 29, 2015 at 2:32 am #

            Do you have any data to support that claim?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:55 am #

            Obviously not, because it hasn’t been tried. I can clarify by saying “I believe you would completely alter the force of this infection”. It is not an illogical belief, because culture is quite influential, but the culture I describe will probably never come about.
            I was theorizing that perhaps abstinence would not be a “failed approach” if it was coupled with support throughout the culture as a whole for chastity.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 8:10 am #

            Historically, abstinence culture has been tried. It has never worked even half as well as condoms, and condoms really aren’t great at preventing HPV infections.

            What does work is being honest that many people like to have sex, want to have sex, are going to have sex, and the most effective way to reduce dangerous HPV transmission is the vaccine.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

            I would argue that abstinence has been tried, but as a way to DENY the fact that people want to have sex and use scare tactics to prevent them from doing it.

            We could use our current knowledge of facts instead of lying to kids about how sex=genitals falling off or other superstitions.

            I will grant you that other forms of education have worked, and it is unfortunate that barrier methods do not prevent this infection.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            I think the Church was pretty clear on the fact that sex was great, but should only be for married people. There were still an awful lot of STIs and out-of-wedlock babies. People even got married much earlier in life, reducing the “unmarried window”, but it didn’t help.

            Humans have a sex drive, it starts functioning well before the frontal lobes are fully operational, and sex is rewarding on a very basic level. There is no mind trick that is going to change that for any significant portion of the population.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 8:57 am #

            If every medical professional, parent, and authority figure urged children to wait for that special someone (i.e. marriage) before having sex and did all in their power to support that message, you would completely alter the force of this infection.

            Complete and utter bullshit.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

            It has worked for vaccinations. Let me expand on the comparison Dr. Amy suggested…

            Are there still parents who choose to never vaccinate? Yes, just as there would be people who ignore the abstinence message and have sex anyway with whoever they wanted.

            Are there parents who choose a delayed or alternative schedule?
            Yes, just as some people would wait to have sex until in a committed relationship, but perhaps not end up with that person forever and have a couple different sexual partners.

            Are the majority of parents in this nation following the advice of the culture at large and vaccinating on schedule, including boosters?
            YES. A consistent, strong, UNIFIED message to vaccinate one’s child has resulted in VERY high vaccination rates.

            So, theoretically, if the same emphasis were placed on abstinence education for a good number of years, it is not unrealistic to postulate similar results could be achieved. We are all products of our culture.

            One difference? The availability of pornography would be a much greater lure for curious abstainers than anti-vax websites are for curious parents 🙂
            Obviously, if there were a cultural push for abstinence, there would be a stifling of pornographic material.

            It isn’t a perfect idea, and I am NOT suggesting that it be implemented because realistically there is not enough support. But we can hypothesize!

          • Angela
            January 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

            “But we can fantasize!”

            There, I fixed your last sentence.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 29, 2015 at 9:19 am #

            Kind of like:

            If every medical professional urged parents to vaccinate their children and did all in their power to support that message, every parent would vaccinate exactly as recommended.

            Oops!!

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 9:19 am #

            So?

            All that wishful teaching doesn’t prevent RAPE.

            And you say “sexually permissive” like its a bad thing. Guess what – SEX IS FUN. People LIKE IT. And that’s why you can “teach” them all you want but people are still going to do it.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:48 am #

            Actually, I have never “said” sexually permissive in a tone for you to infer whether I think it is bad or not. Just because I personally don’t advocate for it doesn’t mean I condemn it for all of society, either. So thanks, but I don’t need a sales pitch on sex. I have a kid, and I wasn’t perfect before marriage so it isn’t as if I don’t understand the draw.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 9:40 am #

            “I think you can agree that if the culture overwhelmingly supported abstinence, chastity, and respect, that STDs, pregnancy, and other consequences would most likely drastically decrease.”

            I do agree with you there. I’m a family physician and provide healthcare to an ethnic group that has a culture that *overwhelmingly* supports abstinence and chastity and indeed, their STD and unplanned pregnancy rates are very low. The way they provide this overwhelming support is by completely cutting off the genitals of their little girls at 8 years of age and sewing up the edges leaving a hole the size of a matchstick. They value chastity let me tell you, and it gets results!

            Now all the other groups I serve, apparently don’t provide enough support: not the Catholics, not the Orthodox Jews, not the Mormons, not the homeschooling Evangelical Christians, not the Hindus, not even the non-infibulating Muslims. Turns out that I see STDs and refer for abortions in all these less supportive groups.

            I think there is a lesson in there somewhere!

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:54 am #

            Did you not see the “respect” portion of my suggestion? Do you think I don’t know there are cultures out there who mutilate women to promote “chastity”, when really it is just a way to control and victimize them?

            There is no lesson in what you have said.
            There is no religious group I am aware of that practices the kind of abstinence program I theoretically proposed, and these groups are made up of humans and humans make mistakes. Just because they follow a religion that preaches a certain behavior doesn’t mean they always resist temptation.

            Certainly our current culture makes it difficult to have convictions about sex when the overwhelming message is that there is no use waiting for anything other than a personal feeling of comfort and readiness.
            Is it any wonder that members of those religions that you serve do not represent their faith perfectly?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            Ah, so back before this “current culture” things were better. Women enjoyed a golden age of respect. STDs were not known. Every child was a wanted child. Sounds wonderful. When was this magical epoch exactly?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

            It has never existed. Sexually permissive cultures are not a new thing, they have been around before, and so has restrictive abstinence culture and others in between. Thank goodness we don’t have the syphilis rates we used to, and that women who DO want to use natural methods of family planning don’t have to rely on the original rhythm method which assumed a 28 day ovulation cycle (which we know now is not the schedule for all women).

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

            Look, I’m just trying to find some real life, proven, practical solutions to fix the terrible failure rate of your preferred plan of Abstinence Promotion! If you don’t want my help, you’ll have to find a way of controlling other people all on your own!

            …in the meantime I’ll go give some vaccinations…

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            The only person I can control is myself. I can teach my kids whatever I want, but I certainly can’t control their behavior.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

            Exactly. And that’s why you vaccinate.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

            And perhaps I will, since I have never stated that I am anti vaxx

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 29, 2015 at 11:40 am #

            I can’t agree with that at all. A culture that supports open discussion of sexuality and promotes safer sex with condoms and effective birth control will have a lower rate of STDs and unplanned pregnancy. See: Scandinavia.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:46 am #

            Yes, I get the fact that the message you describe leads to those results. I was not refuting or arguing that at all. I was merely pointing out that the abstinence message has never been implemented at a whole culture level. There has never been a national push with the same zeal and funding as safe sex/birth control.

            My suggestion has never been tried, and apparently nobody who hears it on here wants to theoretically consider it either. That’s fine, move on.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

            But her “situation” could have been PREVENTED with a vaccine.

            That’s the point.

            Even in the “next best” situation people will still contract this potentially deadly disease. But you believe that PrimaryDoc living with the risk of life-threatening cancer is preferable to PREVENTION.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

            Yep. I’m a family physician. I have had 3 patients in my time in practice with vulvar cancer. One died from it (a slow horrible death. the smell of putrifying flesh followed her everywhere for her last few months). She had had 2 lifetime sexual partners: her first husband and her second husband. Another patient had to have a radical vulvectomy. She had been a virgin at 19 when she married. She contracted HPV from her husband who had picked it up apparently when he served in WWII. My 3rd patient also had 2 lifetime sexual partners. Her first husband was a cheater. She found the strength to leave him and raised her 2 boys staying single until they were both raised and grown. Then in her forties, she met a man through her church group who was a good guy and they fell in love. Shortly before they were married she was diagnosed with vulvar cancer from the HPV she had contracted from her first husband, and underwent a partial vulvectomy. Unfortunately the upper margin was positive and so she had to go back to surgery where she had a further excision including, tragically, clitorectomy.

            Those slutty cancer women. I guess they get what they deserve.

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

            My God.. those poor women. How awful..

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 9:04 am #

            Yes. HPV deaths are some of the ugliest deaths out there. They cause a huge amount of suffering whether it is cervical, vulvar, penile, throat, tongue or anal cancer. Or the babies who die as preemies because of incompetent cervix problems from HPV treatment. But selfish curiousmama would rather wrap herself up in her prudish self righteousness and condemn these victims to their fates.

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 10:17 am #

            So awful… and yes, her “abstinence” argument is very self-righteous.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:40 am #

            “let’s all pat ourselves on the back as we parrot back and forth our agreement with our own viewpoints and make a joke of anyone who thinks differently.”

            Apparently now it is “self-righteous” to believe that abstinence is a valid line of prevention against STI’s and pregnancy when practiced properly…

            This kind of attitude is self-fulfilling…obviously, if today’s culture views all abstinence messages with disdain and provides no authoritative support for them, they won’t hold weight with our young people!

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:43 am #

            “Apparently now it is “self-righteous” to believe that abstinence is a
            valid line of prevention against STI’s and pregnancy when practiced
            properly…”

            You claim you want information and science and studies, but IGNORE everything on abstinence. Abstinence programs fails, abysmally.

            We CAN’T live in a fairytale world of IF and WHEN. We have to live in the real world. People DON’T practice abstinence anywhere near effectively enough to prevent HPV transmission. So we have a vaccine.

            So you’re an atheist?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:49 am #

            Did I say that abstinence education programs are a raving success? No.

            Was I talking about abstinence education programs in the post you just quoted? NO

            It isn’t a fairytale that a SINGLE PERSON practicing abstinence can REDUCE their PERSONAL risk of HPV.

            Am I saying abstinence is like a magical cloak that provides the same level of prevention the vaccine is meant to? NO

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 10:52 am #

            I’ll say it again:

            Why did we need to invent an HPV vaccine in the first place?
            Because hoping for abstinence and slut shaming was not working.

            But that’s what you want to try as a creative new alternative.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:57 am #

            Nope. I never advocated for slut shaming, but if it helps you to dismiss me by putting words in my mouth, that’s your prerogative I guess.

            I have nothing against the invention of an HPV vaccine.

            It does cause me personal regret as a logical, scientific method-loving individual that abstinence programs teaching chastity and above all RESPECT have not been implemented at a full-scale, cultural level with support from all authority figures, just to see if it would work. It is just a theoretical wish, obviously nothing that can be put into practice. But in order for abstinence ED to be given its fair shot, that is what would need to happen…the message would need to be consistent. It can’t be, so it won’t work, so I am obviously not advocating for it to be tried.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 11:57 am #

            I never advocated for slut shaming,

            No, you just call women who get HPV “irresponsible” because they don’t limit their partners.

            But hey, no slut shaming there….

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

            How about you provide a quote from me saying that women who contract HPV are irresponsible.

            Til then, perhaps you could just admit that you are inferring things from what I have written that are not direct quotes or accurate representations of my views.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

            curiousmama >Stacy48918 • 19 hours ago

            “Really? Since the HPV shot is not the only thing standing between a child and cancer, how on earth can you make this emotional appeal with any seriousness? First, cancer is not a foregone conclusion for every HPV sufferer. Second, I clearly stated above that responsible sexual behavior (and that of your partner) can prevent HPV infection.”
            It is not a direct quote, but the leap from “responsible sexual behavior can prevent HPV infection” to “women who contract HPV are irresponsible” is really small…more like a hop than a leap.
            And there have been many examples provided of women who did have responsible sexual behavior and still contracted HPV, so your directly quoted statement is inaccurate.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

            No, it is not a logical leap or hop or skip.

            Yes, there have been many examples of responsible women still contracting HPV…good thing I never argued the infection was their fault or condemned them for having sex!

            Read through some of my other posts where I have had to explain this OVER and OVER because for some reason everyone on here wants to paint me as a judgmental prude who believes HPV happens to wicked, irresponsible women.

            I get it. Though none of you know me personally, nobody on here likes talking with me and not to worry, I lose my internet access in a few hours and then you won’t have to hear from me anymore.
            You can all congratulate yourselves on besting another “troll” and continue in your assumption that I am a hippie mother that wants her kid to get whooping cough instead of a vaccine.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

            I don’t think you are a “troll”…my impression is
            that you are so steeped in anti-vax rhetoric that you don’t realize how your
            questions sound to people who actually do understand how vaccines work. I’ve tried to answer your questions with
            solid scientific information, and I hope you do read the articles that I and others
            have suggested.

          • Siri
            January 30, 2015 at 5:52 am #

            Please please PLEASE can the self-pity. It’s boring. You’ve chosen to spend hours on here and leave dozens of pointless comments.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:52 am #

            “Am I saying abstinence is like a magical cloak that provides the same level of prevention the vaccine is meant to? NO”
            So why do you oppose the HPV vaccine?

            By the time you know your child is having sex, it will be too late.

            Are you an atheist?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:36 am #

            Perhaps because it is given the same emphasis on the vaccine schedule as other vaccines even though transmission, infection risks, and infection complication risks are all different (and lower) than measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, diphtheria, etc.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 10:57 am #

            Am I saying abstinence is like a magical cloak that provides the same level of prevention the vaccine is meant to? NO

            Wait a minute.

            This whole discussion is taking place because you initially asked if there might be better approaches to preventing diseases than vaccines that we should be working on.

            And then YOU brought up the example of the HPV vaccine, and the alternative of pushing for responsible behavior and abstinence.

            But now you are saying that you aren’t claiming that it is better than vaccination.

            So why did you bring it up in the first place? You have complained about how we haven’t responded appropriately to your initial comment and have misread it, but now it seems you are the one who can’t even keep up with your own argument.

            Is this about vaccines? Or is it just an excuse to moralize? I don’t get your point.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:32 am #

            (This took forever to find again, because this thread is huge)

            Excerpt from my first post on this topic, with the quote everyone can’t move on from:

            “And since safe sex, limited sexual intercourse/few sexual partners can prevent even contracting HPV, it cannot be compared to illnesses such as the chicken pox, which is spread through much less intimate social contact.”

            As you can see, my point about HPV was not to discuss alternatives to vaccination, but to acknowledge that there ARE alternatives in the case of HPV which are NOT available for prevention of chicken pox, measles, etc.

            It has been made clear that my attempt to engage in a discussion of whether the HPV vaccine is necessary or on par with other vaccinations is a waste of time, because apparently most people on here are of the mindset that I should just vaccinate according to schedule, no questions asked.

            I did not “push” for responsible behavior or abstinence as a population wide alternative to the vaccine. I merely have stated multiple times that these choices can reduce one’s risk of contracting HPV, making the risk for this disease much different than the risk for other illnesses such as rubella, which can be transferred unknowingly to a pregnant woman and cause permanent damage to her unborn child. Worse yet, though HPV can also affect an unborn child, rubella can be caught simply by sitting next to a stranger.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

            “my point about HPV was not to discuss alternatives to vaccination, but to acknowledge that there ARE alternatives in the case of HPV which are NOT available for prevention of chicken pox, measles, etc.”
            Except that you then acknowledged that those alternatives DON’T work!

            So what was the point in bringing it up????

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 11:23 am #

            If you’ve raised up your child in such a way that you have truly passed on to her your values regarding chastity, I can’t imagine what threat an HPV shot would be.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:33 am #

            So there is no risk associated with the HPV vaccine? Are there any recent studies that confirm that assertion?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

            Oh, multiple studies show the risks are extremely tiny. But that doesn’t matter. By the time your daughter is old enough to question the life you have planned out for her, there will hopefully be some herd immunity in place that you can leech off of.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

            I don’t have a daughter. I would appreciate any links you can provide to these studies, so I can save them in my reading list/as downloads since my internet availability ends this evening.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            I suggest the CDC website. It has an excellent summary including links to the actual studies so you can read them yourself. The 2 real life risks a person is likely to encounter are:
            -sore arm. In my experience, the HPV shot is one that stings a bit more than for instance influenza.
            -fainting. Unfortunately, the HPV series is given at the exact time when needle phobias peak. Kids get very worked up over the shot and then vaso-vagal afterwards. This is why in my clinic, all shots given to adolescents are always given with the teen lying down. I strongly recommend this approach.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

            thank you. I will continue exploring the CDC website, I just didn’t want to overlook any other pertinent sources if they were available.

          • Dinolindor
            January 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

            FYI, it’s recommended that boys get the HPV vaccine also since 1) HPV causes other kinds of cancer that men can get (so not just cervical) and 2) males can carry the virus. I’m planning on having my son vaccinated as soon as he reaches the recommended age. Check the CDC website for more information.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 10:58 am #

            Why should that message be supported?
            I think abstinence until marriage is a terrible idea.

            I met my husband when I was 19 and he was 20. Neither of us were virgins when we met each other. Part of the reason I knew he was my soul mate was because our sex life was AMAZING…and I could compare it to other, not so great encounters.

            A fulfilling sex life is important in a marriage, and no, I absolutely don’t believe the “if you love each other it’ll all come together with time and practice”. Some people are compatible, some people aren’t.

            Finding out you’re committed to a lifetime of insipid and lacklustre sex AFTER you’ve got married is far, far too late.

            I would want my kids to know that when they got married it was to someone they knew would fulfill their physical needs, so that they wouldn’t want to look outside their marital relationship for physical satisfaction.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:07 am #

            There you have it. If most people think along those lines, the abstinence message loses its validity. I believe that is part of the reason why pushes for abstinence-plus or abstinence only ED have failed…because there is no cultural consensus that such an approach is valid.

            So when Bofa on the Sofa and others point out that abstinence ED failed, it is not necessarily because the message itself is flawed (truly, not having sex is the BEST way to protect yourself, it just is harder to stick with)…in order for us to prove the message is flawed, it would need to be implemented fully and consistently for a period of years and the results evaluated then.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 11:17 am #

            Not “harder” to stick with…just not worth sticking with.

            Absolutely don’t have sex with people you don’t like, or don’t trust, or don’t love or don’t want to have sex with, and don’t have sex without protecting yourself from unwanted pregnancy and STIS to the best of your ability…but to only ever have sex with someone after you’ve married them… I think it is a bad idea.

            You have yet to convince me why it isn’t.

            “People don’t agree with my message and won’t support it…which doesn’t prove that my message is flawed…but that they are, because they won’t support my message”…

            No. Doesn’t work like that.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:42 am #

            You are right, it doesn’t work like that, so I am glad that isn’t what I said!

            I will repeat myself – in order for abstinence education to be truly proven ineffective, it would first need to be consistently, comprehensively, longitudinally applied and emphasized by the culture as a whole. Only then could we declare with conviction, as Bofa and others have, that abstinence ED is a flaming failure.

            Instead, this kind of education has been inconsistently taught in a few states/settings at various points in time with multiple different messages (abstinencePLUS, abstinenceONLY, etc)…all the while there is a further cultural message to young people that sex is worth experimenting with someone you care deeply for, as long as you use protection. That cultural message does NOT jive with abstinence education, so therefore it has not been successful. The MESSAGE cannot be fully implemented because it is contradicted by the overall culture.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

            “I will repeat myself – in order for abstinence education to be truly
            proven ineffective, it would first need to be consistently,
            comprehensively, longitudinally applied and emphasized by the culture as
            a whole. Only then could we declare with conviction, as Bofa and
            others have, that abstinence ED is a flaming failure.”
            But since that will NEVER HAPPEN, why do you continue to insist on living in a fairytale and refuse to consider real life solutions, like vaccines, condoms, birth control pills, REAL sex-ed training and easy access to safe abortion – which DOES work to reduce unintended pregnancies and prevent disease.

            Why do you keep advocating for something you KNOW and ADMIT doesn’t work and will NEVER work?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 11:55 am #

            The “don’t have sex” approach to everything had been tried for time immortal. As I have said a couple of times, the whole reason we have things like birth control, safe sex, and yes, the HPV vaccine is because “don’t do it” didn’t work, regardless how hard it was tried.

            So now we have approaches that we can use to do things like prevent pregnancies and transmission of STDs without having to “try harder” on the old failed approach.

            So what’s the concern again?

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

            “it is not necessarily because the message itself is flawed”
            Umm…it fails in religious households. It fails in secular households. It fails everywhere. The message is flawed. Humans are sexual beings. Telling people to repress a part of their very nature is unnatural. Then when kids DO act on their desires they don’t know any real ways to protect themselves from unintended pregnancies or STIs because all they’ve ever been told is “don’t do it”.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

            Apparently you can’t conceive of any abstinence message that utilizes facts and doesn’t just say “don’t do it”….so perhaps we are at a conversational impasse. Seems we will agree to disagree.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

            I don’t know. In all the years people have been trying to push abstinence, one thing that has been constant is that it has not worked.

            So whether I can come up with other messages is irrelevant to the fact that, apparently, no one else can either.

            And it’s not for lack of trying, make no mistake. It’s been tried. And tried. And tried.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

            What facts? The facts that it doesn’t work? That children taught abstinence only or abstinence plus have sex at exactly the same rates as their counter parts….they just end up pregnant and with STIs more often? The facts that we do not and will never live in the sex-purged society you imagine?

          • Guesteleh
            January 29, 2015 at 11:32 am #

            Research shows that states with abstinence only education have the highest rates of teen pregnancy:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/

            You’re wrong. And p.s lady, “today’s culture” is a dog whistle term if I’ve ever heard one. If you don’t know what dog whistlewhistlelanguage is, look it up.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            So now you think I am speaking in a type of code? Nope, just trying to best express myself, if you don’t understand what I mean perhaps you could ask.

            And yes, as I have already said, abstinence only programs do not show success when adopted in piecemeal fashion in different places at different times. Are these programs being 100% honest and informative to kids? Are they explaining what it means to use a method perfectly vs. inconsistently?
            Most importantly, do most Americans believe that sex is something to be abstained from, in order to reap moral benefits later on? Because if it isn’t, than AS I HAVE SAID, the abstinence message goes straight down the drain. It is unsustainable if not reinforced by the larger culture kids are immersed in.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

            Well unless you plan to purposefully isolate your children from the world until you’ve sold them into arranged marriages with other virgins, they are going to be exposed to the culture. No matter how much you “train” them, they are going to do things you don’t want them to. Be the adult. Make the right decision. Protect them from some of the consequences of bad decisions, should they choose to make them.

            You still haven’t answered me – are you an atheist?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

            Are you? What does it matter? What are you assuming my religious affiliation is?

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

            Just wondering from where your pre-determined ideas about the “responsibility” of sex and abstinence until marriage come from, since they don’t follow scientific data. Since purity/chastitiy culture trends very closely with conservative Christian belief, yes, I made an assumption.

            I am a recent escapee from a fundamentalist Christian group (Independent Fundamental Baptists). Yes, I am now an atheist.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

            I am a Catholic. Science does not provide data on moral issues in the same way it provides data for other phenomena…science at its core is objective, and morality on things like sex is subjective to one’s philosophies and beliefs. In other words, science cannot “disprove” the Catholic viewpoints on sex because they are not scientific assertions able to be tested. They exist independently of scientific methods and reasoning.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

            Riiiight.

            So you believe what you believe, science be damned.

            I thought you wanted us to take you seriously? That you were only here looking for scientific, objective answers to your questions. Seems that you already HAVE the answers to some questions and you don’t care what the objective science says.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

            And sex is only a “moral” issue because your church says it is. Circular logic.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

            Obviously you don’t consider purposefully choosing to risk the lives of babies, cancer patients and other immunocompromised individuals around you by not vaccinating your child to be a moral issue.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

            Of course I do, and in fact the Catholic church advocates for vaccination.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

            Yes, the statement “sex outside of marriage is morally wrong” is non-falsifiable. Some people believe it, and that’s OK.

            The statement “teaching young people abstinence is ineffective at preventing unplanned pregnancy and STDs” is both testable and true. And don’t blame it on culture, we didn’t invent sex. Ever read “The Scarlet Letter?”

          • momofone
            January 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

            No, the self-righteousness comes in where you presume to make that the optimal choice for everyone, as opposed to just yourself.

          • Who?
            January 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

            How do you practice abstinence properly? You might choose to never have sexual contact with anyone, and be assaulted or raped. Have you failed at abstinence at that point?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:36 am #

            Yeah, because somehow MY personal apprehension about this particular vaccine is just a cover for my secret wish that it not be available for ANYONE. Is my sarcasm coming across here? I hope so, because you all are making me lose hope of a rational discussion on any topic, much less vaccination.

            Apparently, it’s either “hop on the bandwagon, don’t ask too many questions”, or “doesn’t matter what you say, now that we know you are on the fence we will marginalize you as if you are a militant anti-vaxx nut job”

            Silly me, I thought perhaps I would gain some insight from the 36 hours of internet time I had left to devote to this forum…all I have is a headache. I appreciate the handful of people who have actually treated me with respect instead of ridicule.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:38 am #

            You are applying YOUR PERSONAL APPREHENSION to the population. If YOU don’t want to get it because YOU want to teach abstinence to your children, so be it. But when you want to take your ill-informed, wrong opinions and transmit them to the population as a whole and advocate changing society because we are too “sexually permissive”, THAT is where your views must be stopped. Believe wrong things if you want. You don’t get to push them on the population.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:43 am #

            WOOOOOW does ANYBODY on here actually READ my posts?? My idea on abstinence taught at a national level was THEORETICAL and I CLEARLY stated that…it OBVIOUSLY would not work in today’s cultural climate because it IS a sexually permissive one…that is not a judgment, just a statement of fact. We do not condemn sexual behavior outside marriage or committed relationships, right? OK, then what I said about it being a “sexually permissive” culture is true.

            “you don’t get to push them on the population”…I’m not. But thanks for your concern and lack of attention to the post you are pulling this rant from.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:45 am #

            “We do not condemn sexual behavior outside marriage or committed relationships, right?”
            WHY SHOULD WE?

            There’s nothing wrong with sex, unless you are a
            religious prude.

            In advocating AGAINST the HPV vaccine for EVERYONE, you are trying to influence culture. In critiquing sexual culture you are trying to change other people.

            You’re telling me you’re an atheist/agnostic?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:53 am #

            Stacy48918, do you enjoy picking apart an off-topic conversation just to niggle at someone you don’t agree with? Boy, you sure do have a talent for exaggeration, misrepresentation, and redirection!

            Did I condemn the sexually permissive culture? NO

            So what’s with the incessant focus on my own personal beliefs about sexual morality?

            Am I “advocating against the HPV vaccine for everyone”? NO and now you are just making yourself look ridiculous.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:54 am #

            “So what’s with the incessant focus on my own personal beliefs about sexual morality?”
            Because you brought it up as a ridiculous reason to NOT vaccinate.

            Are you an atheist?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:02 am #

            Another commenter stated that using the HPV vaccine as an example was faulty because it is an “opt-in” vaccine…meaning optional.

            My concern as a parent is that the CDC recommendation on vaccinations does not differentiate in this way, with some vaccines marked as more “optional” than others.

            So is it truly necessary for public health to treat HPV infection the same as measles and push for universal vaccination of both with equal vigor?

            Can you or anyone else point me in the direction of recent, reliable studies showing the effects of the HPV vaccine? Recommendations on other sources are much preferred to trying to figure out what is reliable on the internet with my limited time I can devote to this medium.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 11:10 am #

            Here you go…

            http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/13/1/pdfs/06-0438.pdf

            This paper from 2007 discusses in depth the reasons behind the decision to recommend the HPV vaccine.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

            Thank you.
            Are there any papers you know of written more recent than 2007? Any research sources you can refer me to for more recent studies?

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

            It’s as true now as it was then. Facts don’t age out.

          • Guesteleh
            January 29, 2015 at 11:25 am #

            You originally said that the HPV vaccine isn’t needed because HPV isn’t a dangerous disease. When that was refuted by multiple commenters you moved the goalposts and started saying that HPV could be prevented by practicing abstinence. Again, multiple people proved you wrong. Now you’re saying you aren’t advocating against the HPV vaccine for everyone? That doesn’t fly.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

            I never said the HPV vaccine wasn’t needed, or that it did not carry the risk for more dangerous and life threatening symptoms. I pointed out what I saw to be the difference between a virus like HPV and those such as measles that are:
            transferred in less intimate ways, amongst more people at a time, and with greater numbers of infected people showing symptoms.

            I also did not claim that the abstinence programs implemented in certain states are effective at preventing HPV, I clearly stated that personal decisions to abstain, limit the number of sexual partners, and (to a certain extent) practice safe sex can REDUCE the risk of contracting HPV.
            “multiple people proved you wrong”…no, multiple people took my words out of context and pretended I was saying that abstinence education prevented HPV.

            I never advocated against the HPV vaccine for everyone.

            If you plan on continuing to accuse me of saying certain things, perhaps you could take the time to grab direct quotes from my posts. It might save you the embarrassment of being mistaken when you try to synthesize my “points”.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 11:49 am #

            If YOU don’t want to get it because YOU want to teach abstinence to your children, so be it.

            Although everyone has the right to decide whether to get it or not, I will also say that, I don’t care if she is teaching her children all the abstinence in the world, she still should have them vaccinated.

            1) Promoting abstinence does not work, and
            2) Even if it did, there are risks that are completely out of their control.

            Get the vaccine.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

            Exactly. If I remember correctly, graduates/participants in “abstinence” programs or chastity pledges do have sex later than other kids…but they still have premarital sex at a similar rate. They’re just a bit older.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

            They are also less likely to use protection when they do have sex, possibly since they’ve been taught that it doesn’t work.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:04 am #

            Does it somehow provide you with entertainment to turn a portion of what I said into an indictment on all cancer victims that they brought it on themselves? this is not humorous, it is serious and it is a shame what happened with those patients.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 9:34 am #

            “it is a shame what happened with those patients.”
            Even more a shame that it could have been PREVENTED WITH A VACCINE!

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

            “I sympathize with your HPV diagnosis”…as opposed to all those other ladies’ diagnoses…

          • Guestelehs
            January 28, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

            …those sluts.

          • Who?
            January 28, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

            …or rape victims…

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

            That reminds me of the old SNL news with Jane Curtin and Bill Murray… “Jane, you ignorant slut..”

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 12:00 am #

            Right, because sympathizing with one person means I don’t with anyone else? Please…

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 8:52 am #

            Ah ok. Where then does your sympathy draw the line? Which women (and men and preemie babies) got what they deserved and which ones get your sympathy?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:31 am #

            Again with the “get what they deserved” as if I am some fundamentalist whack job preaching about the fires of hell reserved for those who have sex outside marriage. This is getting old. Way to take my comments so out of context that the original conversation is lost.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:36 am #

            So what do you think then of someone that has “irresponsible” sex and ends up with HPV? Do you have the same amount of sympathy for them?

            Clearly not. If you did, you’d have enough sympathy to advocate vaccination so that EVERYONE, no matter their lifestyle could be prevented from catching such a horrid disease.

            Instead, you feel that those who live “responsibly” should be safe, but not those that live “irresponsibly”.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 10:49 am #

            Again with the “get what they deserved” as if I am some fundamentalist whack job

            Maybe it’s because you say things like,

            Just because I hold people accountable for their choices

            Do you not mean that people deserve to suffer the consequences of their choices? Because that is what you said.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:09 am #

            I hold people who victimize others accountable for their choices, I do not blame the victims.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 11:47 am #

            Total strawman.

            We aren’t talking about rapists here. We are talking about women who contract HPV. Some are victims of actions by others. Others get it through their choices.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

            You mean like the parents of purposefully unvaccinated children that spread VPDs to little babies, cancer patients and other immunocompromised individuals?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 11:27 am #

            Answer the question. Where does your sympathy draw the line? Sounds like a raped woman gets a pass, and also PrimaryCare Doc who has had only one partner. What about a woman with 2 partners but regrets it? How about a woman with 50 lifetime partners who really loves sex and never plans to settle down?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

            Would you agree that if every American had no more than 5 sexual partners over the course of a lifetime that it would reduce the spread of HPV? It is a chain reaction, the less connected links in the chain, the less chance for it to spread. In terms of risking contracting HPV, someone who chooses to sleep with 50 people is being irresponsible – they are increasing their risk of contracting it. If they get vaccinated and decide ‘what the hell, I’m protected’ and have 50 sex partners, that’s their choice. But what I am not hearing from anyone here is how the vaccine stops the infection from spreading if we still aren’t certain on how many cases there are to be begin with. Is not the only thing we can measure the incidence of HPV caused cancers and warts?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

            “Is not the only thing we can measure the incidence of HPV caused cancers and warts?”

            Girlfriend! Get up to date with the science! How can anyone have an informed opinion without understanding the underlying science (hint: they can’t). The total for HPV infections isn’t measured by looking for cancer or warts, it’s measured by PCR, duh! Longitudinal PCR testing shows that over 70% of women carry HPV at some point.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            Thank you for the clarification and explanation, as I have stated before, I was only referred to the CDC website and if I missed this information on there, then it is a sign that I should continue using the site (as I plan to)

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

            ” it is a sign that I should continue using the site”

            Yep and a sign that right now all your “opinions “about vaccinations can’t be taken seriously as you currently lack even the most basic science grounding.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

            Try this for starters. http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

            The CDC has been conducting surveillance of HPV prevalence among adolescents. It was really high before, it’s dropped a lot just in the few years since the introduction of the vaccine.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

            So does that woman with 50 partners get the pass or not? You keep dodging. Does she deserve HPV?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

            I think she should hold herself accountable for her own choices, as should we all. Behaviors have consequences. Do people always deserve the consequences of their actions, good or bad? What is your point in trying to get me to condemn a person?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

            So you are saying that yes, she deserves her cervical cancer. That’s all, just wanted to know what we are dealing with here.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

            No, I don’t believe it is anyone’s place to say somebody deserves cancer. Do you point to someone with lung cancer who was a chain smoker and say “you deserved it”? No. it is understandable that they got lung cancer, because smoking greatly increases the risk of lung cancer developing, but we don’t wish it on smokers or smugly say they deserved it if they get it.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

            “we don’t… […]…smugly say they deserved it if they get it”

            No, curiousmama knows better than to come right out and say it because she knows people would call her out on her cruel judgementalism. But that sure doesn’t keep her from enjoying her superior thoughts in private!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

            They don’t deserve it, it is just the consequence that holds them accountable for their choice.

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            It is NOT a chain reaction. Not at all. Depending on the prevalence in the population, your risk is low or high even with one sexual partner. Mathematically if I have sex with 50 people in a zero-prevalence population (an almost hypothetical group, but I know of one) I have zero risk. But if I have sex with one person in a population in a 70% prevalence population, I have a 70% risk.

            Viruses are NOT moral agents. They just are forms of life who depend on us to spread and maintain them. Their forms of transmission vary; their prevalences vary. That’s it. For us to have a killer virus like HPV available and fail to vaccinate our kids is an immoral choice. IMMORAL See how you like it when your kid gets HPV, winds up having cervical surgery at a young age and end up with impaired fertility or impaired ability to carry a pregnancy.

            Edited to add: and don’t kid yourself that you can control your kid’s sexual experimentation. YOU CAN’T.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle
            January 29, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

            ^^^ YUP. As someone who has undergone a painful procedure on my cervix as a direct result of HPV, I would have loved to have the vaccine. But I guess that was just what I deserved for being a harlot. 😉

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

            Well, if everyone only ever had one partner, ever, sexual transmission of HPV would stop. Compliance rates would have to be 100%, no exceptions ever. Sexual assault would have to be completely non-existent.

            Sounds totally doable!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

            I’ve always wondered…since gonorrhea and syphilis are bacterial, if everyone who had it would just get treated before having sex again, shouldn’t it be eradicated? Yet, here we are, 75 years since penicillin and they are still around…

          • January 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            I would hazard a guess that the answer is no. Overuse of antibiotics results in resistant strains of bacteria developing and spreading. Antibiotics are an incredible thing, but they do need to be used judiciously. Others please correct me if I’m wrong here – isn’t overuse if provolactic antibiotics causing resistance?

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

            Also getting people to finish their meds instead of stopping when they feel better and treating everyone infected (and that might not be symptomatic yet) by the current sufferer before they reinfect the current sufferer.

          • Roadstergal
            January 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

            If everyone only had one partner, ever, you might reduce HPV infections. But you would have to balance that against the additional mortality that such a system would bring, because I would start randomly bludgeoning people in the street.

          • Cobalt
            January 30, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

            Word!

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

            Thank you for the correction

          • Mishimoo
            January 29, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

            I don’t know – my parents did a fairly good job of controlling mine, but that involved vast amounts of slutshaming and misogyny over several years. 0/10, would not recommend 😉

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 9:33 am #

            No, you don’t. Because if they’d just “practiced abstinence” or been “responsible” they wouldn’t have HPV. You prefer “abstinence” which NEVER WORKS to vaccines, which do WORK.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 29, 2015 at 11:37 am #

            You can take your moralistic “sympathy” and shove it.

            Disease has nothing to do with morals. My HPV infection is no more “moral” than the HPV infection of a prostitute who sells her body for heroin.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

            I don’t get it. I appreciate the internet because I get the chance to discuss things with individuals from all walks of life that I would not meet otherwise, but every time I go on forums and discuss topics that are hot-button issues, the other adults just cannot be polite. You could have just ignored my comment, but no, you had to rudely reject my genuine sympathy that is not moralistic (whatever that means) and is simply one woman feeling for the struggles of another.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

            You really don’t get it. I’ll explain it slowly. Someone who contracts a disease should not be treated or judged on how they got it. Would you have expressed the same genuine sympathy to me if I had told you that I had a history of multiple sex partners and worked as a prostitute? Somehow I doubt it.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

            I would not have agreed with you if you acted flabbergasted as to how you contracted it, but yes I would obviously still have sympathy with your diagnosis.

          • Siri
            January 29, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

            Who cares what you believe?!!! I’m sorry there wasn’t a vaccine against sanctimony when you were born. You’d have benefited from a dose or twelve.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

            obviously, you don’t care. There are people who care what I believe, and I am sorry that you are so incapable of politeness when faced with ideas that you disagree with. Unless I am personally attacking you, what use is it to insult me? All it does is show me that you are not a nice person.

          • Siri
            January 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

            Thank you. I wouldn’t want you to find me ‘nice’.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

            Lady, you’ve just stated that people who don’t wait to have sex until their relationships pass some sort of litmus test of acceptability you have come up with lack self control. You are personally attacking and insulting people.

          • Siri
            January 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

            Those who have self control?? Lady, when I have sex it is NOT a loss of control; I choose to do it! How much more insulting can you be? I have had double figures’ worth of lovers, and I sure as heck hope to have at least a few more. I don’t have HPV; God has forgotten to punish me for my wantonness.

            P.s. I have been in control every.single.time. Dirty bitch that I am.

          • Roadstergal
            January 30, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

            So, in a ‘perfect world,’ those who were only in committed LTRs when they had sex would not get HPV, and those who were not, would.

            Instead, we are in a world where a vaccine can prevent HPV for both sets of people.

            I think I now see why you oppose the vaccine. It gets in the way of your ‘perfect’ world, where those who pass your morality test are protected, and those who don’t get HPV.

          • moto_librarian
            January 28, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

            Yup. I have had one partner. He was widowed. I have HPV. Stick it up your ass curious mama.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

            Really? 6 people “liked” this extremely rude comment? If you read my original comment, I did not imply that all people who get HPV are irresponsible, I merely stated that sexually responsible behavior can help prevent HPV. This was part of a larger point that has now been lost due to people blowing one portion of it out of context, getting offended, and then treating me as if I said they were to blame for their illness.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 12:15 am #

            The issue is that HPV is really easy to spread and many infections are “silent,” especially in men. (Silent infections can still cause cancer.) Hence, most people who have ever had sex get it unless they are vaccinated before the first time. Sexually responsible behavior just doesn’t do much to stop the spread.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:17 am #

            With no test available for the “silent” HPV, how are these numbers formulated? I found no studies on the CDC site to indicate where they got their estimation of infection rates…

          • Angela
            January 29, 2015 at 6:43 am #

            There is a screening test for HPV in asymptomatic women. It’s called a Pap smear.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 10:06 am #

            There is a screening test for “silent” HPV. Here is a link to the CDC website that discusses it:

            http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/screening.html

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:29 am #

            Thank you, somehow I missed that! So am I understanding correctly that if HPV virus is detected during the screening, you are at risk for any type of HPV caused cancer? Or is the virus localized to the cervical area?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 11:03 am #

            The virus seems to act like herpes and infect a particular part of the body rather than your entire system. If you have a positive pap smear, you have an HPV infection of the cervix and are at risk of cervical cancer specifically.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:10 am #

            Thank you for clearing that up!

          • Angela
            January 29, 2015 at 10:34 am #

            Thanks for mentioning this (and Young CC Prof too) and posting the link. I wanted to discuss HPV screening and testing in my comment below, but decided to be brief (first time commenter [though long time lurker], typing on my phone, figuring out Discus, etc) and at least try to correct one curiousmama misconception.
            The Pap smear as a screening test was a huge advancement in women’s health for detecting HPV-related lesions and the new HPV testing guidelines are a great addition to the basic screening. But why not prevent the infection in the first place with the VACCINE?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 10:18 am #

            Actually, you can test for silent infections. Pap smears can now include HPV dna.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:30 am #

            Okay, but where are the numbers for the 75% infection rate statistic? Has there been a study done?

          • Guesteleh
            January 29, 2015 at 12:19 am #

            What exactly do you mean by “responsible sexual behavior?” How many partners are responsible women allowed to have? How long do they have to be in the relationship before they have unprotected sex? What if they want to marry a partner who is infected–do they have to use condoms for the rest of their marriage?

            Do you get now why people are pissed off at you? Probably not.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:15 am #

            No, I think it is ridiculous to get “pissed” at someone for stating a pretty basic fact…irresponsible behavior=more risk. Did I say that the only people who get HPV are irresponsible? No.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:11 am #

            “irresponsible behavior”
            You still didn’t answer the question. DEFINE responsible sexual behavior.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:26 am #

            I will define irresponsible behavior as having unprotected sex with multiple partners…pretty sure we can all agree on that. Furthermore, the less partners you have, the less your chance to contract it in the first place, but if people choose to sleep with many partners that is up to them.

            And before people jump down my throat AGAIN, please read my words and recognize that I AM NOT saying that rape victims or virgins with their first partner have zero risk – to infer that is making a huge leap. I am saying that every person is in control of their own behavior, and if contracting HPV concerns them, there are steps they can take besides getting vaccinated that CAN lower their risk…I will repeat that, CAN LOWER, not ELIMINATE ENTIRELY. It takes two to tango, and if the other person is infected than obviously there is risk of infection.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:29 am #

            “I will repeat that, CAN LOWER, not ELIMINATE ENTIRELY.”

            Which is why we have a VACCINE, which you OPPOSE!

            You admit that your “alternate methods” of preventing disease AREN’T enough, but you OPPOSE VACCINATION!

            Why can’t you see that THAT cognitive dissonance is why we disagree with you?

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 10:33 am #

            HPV is not well prevented by condoms. FACT.

            You can decide to tell you children that you don’t want to get them vaccinated against HPV, because they should be saving themselves for marriage if you want…

            I’ll be telling mine that I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are as protected from pregnancy and disease as possible, but that sex is natural, normal and wonderful and they should feel free to experiment with partners they trust, rather than feel they have to commit to a lifelong partnership with someone before finding out if they are sexually compatible.

            Personally, I think waiting until you are married to have sex with someone is a HORRIBLE idea, and absolutely not one I would recommend to my children.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:39 am #

            “Personally, I think waiting until you are married to have sex with someone is a HORRIBLE idea, and absolutely not one I would recommend to my children.”
            YES!

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 10:49 am #

            Liar. Before “people jumped down your throat”, you never mentioned unprotected sex. You advocated having only one partner – your spouse. Now, you’re trying to wiggle out if it by pretending that you don’t judge people for having sex with multiple partners, that you only truly mind the unprotected part.

            Barf. It’s clear what you believe but you don’t have the guts to defend it.

            Liar.

          • Siri
            January 29, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

            Why not just get the bloody vaccine and cut out the ridiculous postering? Yes, I can reduce my risk of dying in a car crash by staying indoors forever, thus eliminating the need to wear a seatbelt. Or I can wear the goddamn seatbelt.

          • Siri
            January 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            Posturing. O really should proofreed my rantz.

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 1:19 am #

            So, it’s OK for you to be narrow-minded and judgmental, but because someone called you on it, they’re “rude”?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:07 am #

            Ha! moto_librarian did more than “call me out”, it was a rude comment that was unnecessary. I made ONE assertion which, among rational adults, would not offend anyone…that HPV infection, along with every other STI, can be prevented by practicing safe sexual practices, which include abstinence and limiting the amount of partners you have. Did I say it always will be prevented? No. I simply mentioned a means other than vaccination that can prevent infection, as a demonstration that (unlike other illnesses), there are other ways to decrease your risk of HPV infection. One regrettable fact is that HPV does not yet have a test, and often can only be diagnosed if other symptoms occur.

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 2:27 am #

            “I simply mentioned a means other than vaccination that can prevent infection, as a demonstration that (unlike other illnesses), there are other ways to decrease your risk of HPV infection.”

            Like most woo-based folks, you aren’t seeing the forest for the trees. If you have a vaccination to completely PREVENT it in the first place, what does it matter? As other commenters have already pointed out, numerous times, you are not thinking about factors beyond someone’s control, like rape. If a girl or guy chooses abstinence, does not get the vaccine, then gets raped, what then? They could have been protected but are not because they chose “other ways.” Kind of like the classic line of home birth midwives– the “other ways of knowing” phenomenon to predict labor events. You don’t want to learn. Like so many others before you, you want to “educate” us about the woo. Not gonna work..

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 2:58 am #

            And that leads to a question I posed to someone else here…I saw nothing on the CDC website in regards to raw data on infection rates, perhaps because there is no test for HPV in its “silent” infectious form…so do the vaccines for sure prevent infection, or just the cancers and warts that may result from an HPV infection?

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

            Your question betrays so much confusion that it’s unanswerable.

          • moto_librarian
            January 29, 2015 at 10:29 am #

            Yes, it was rude. No, I’m not sorry that I said it. The only reason that you are arguing against the HPV vaccine is because you get HPV from having sex. If this were a vaccine to prevent breast cancer, there would be no argument. But since cervical cancer is linked to sex, we should forego the vaccine and pretend that we live in a perfect world where only whores get infected.

            There is indeed a way to diagnose HPV. Mine was diagnosed after an irregular pap, and my sample was tested for pre-cancerous strains of HPV. I tested positive for one of them, and had a colposcopy. Fortunately, I did not need a LEEP, and the virus seems to have cleared for now. But I will always have that fear in the back of my mind.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 10:40 am #

            made ONE assertion which, among rational adults, would not offend anyone

            Oh, so moto_librarian is just being irrational, eh? But hey, let’s not be rude here….

            Go back to your initial assertion…

            And since safe sex, limited sexual intercourse/few sexual partners can prevent even contracting HPV

            Now, moto_libarian has contracted HPV. Which do you assert applies to here:
            1) She practices unsafe sex
            2) She has not “few” sexual partners?

            Do you not see that she might be insulted by the insinuation that her HPV comes from some “irresponsible” behavior? (another term you’ve used)

            Your post are dripping with insults of real people, even if you don’t say anyone in particular. And as a result, people are going to take offense, because, honestly, you have insulted THEM.

          • moto_librarian
            January 29, 2015 at 10:50 am #

            Well, after all, curiousmama did say, “Just because I hold people accountable for their choices does not mean I also blame them for situations out of their control.” Whatever the hell that means.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 10:53 am #

            Well, apparently it DOESN’T mean that people who make “irresponsible choices” deserve what they get.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

            “Second, I clearly stated above that responsible sexual behavior (and that of your partner) can prevent HPV infection.”

            I have a teen patient with a bad case of HPV. She got it when she was raped. I guess she deserved what she got then?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

            And I don’t give a shit about her stupid moralizing about “responsible.” It’s crap.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 28, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

            Oh I don’t either. Nobody deserves HPV or cancer whether they have had 100 partners or only one (or in the case of my patient, zero, because I have a hard time describing rapists as “sexual partners”)

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

            I don’t believe anybody deserves them.

          • Who?
            January 29, 2015 at 12:04 am #

            Right-can we all agree then that ‘abstinence’ is not reliable for protection against either pregnancies or stis?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 8:57 am #

            Ok then. So which women (and men and preemie babies) deserve to be protected from this fate by the vaccine?

            Hint: an answer like “that preemie baby’s mother should never have slept around and contracted HPV in the first place and needed cryo” will paint you as heartless.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:19 am #

            Just because I hold people accountable for their choices does not mean I also blame them for situations out of their control. If someone stays a virgin, saves it for marriage, and then gets raped, there is no logical argument for blaming that woman or man for their fate. The rapist is the irresponsible one OBVIOUSLY.

            You are also showing an inflexible attitude and using emotional appeal to insinuate that anyone who doesn’t vaccinate against HPV is putting preemies, men and women at risk. But the risks of infection complications, though you may have many examples of them occurring, are still QUITE LOW. Just as you don’t appreciate anti-vaxx people arguing about how they know someone with a vaccine-related injury, I don’t appreciate you using your own anecdotes to make the HPV virus seem just as contagious and serious as measles.

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 10:41 am #

            Luckily, there are lots of people like me that you can blame for their fate if they happen to be infected (so far, I haven’t been.) We have ONE partner at a time. Like, in relationships that last for several YEARS. Then, we realize we don’t have anything more to give each other and go our separate ways. Then, the story repeats. It isn’t that we don’t WANT to stay with one partner, it just turns out that isn’t this one as we thought it might be. You all but claimed that since we weren’t virgins for each one of those relationships, we should be blamed for our fate. Implying that “we got what we deserved”. Why bother protecting us? We weren’t virgins!

            Isn’t it great that we, the sluts, exist? Who would you wave your moral superiority over if we weren’t around?

            We’re talking about medicine. You’re talking about morals. So far, we have found out that no one who has had more than one partner (in sacred matrimony, of course!) deserves protection since you only advocate for protecting those who you believe are worthy. Who else isn’t worthy in your book?

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 11:33 am #

            “Just because I hold people accountable for their choices does not mean I also blame them for situations out of their control.”

            Got it. So the preemie is not responsible for his own death, but he has to die to punish the mom (unless she was raped). Kind of like David and Bathsheba and their first baby. The sins of the fathers etc. etc.

            But thank God that it doesn’t happen very often. That only about 4,000 women die of cervical cancer a year, and a few thousand babies (and a bunch of pervy men who did oral sex and caught mouth cancer). Somebody has to serve as the cautionary tale to hold people accountable for their choices!

          • Melissa
            January 28, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

            A good friend of mine had one sexual partner ever, her husband. Turns out that he had HPV and passed it on to her. It’s something that she really struggled with because she truly believed that HPV (and any STI) was a thing that happened to bad people. She had refused the HPV vaccine in college because she wasn’t one of those types of girls who needed it. The guilt she felt around the HPV diagnosis was worse than anything physical related to it because she had bought into the politicization of the vaccine.

            It’s all about the risk vs. the benefit. The risk of adverse reactions from the HPV vaccine are exceptionally low (no matter what Michele Bachman claims) and the upside is protecting yourself/your partner/any of their future partners from exposure. Protection from not only cervical cancer but also mouth and throat cancers. Not that the HPV vaccine is mandatory even (and thus a weird one to use as an example of the problem with vaccination since it is truly an opt-in vaccine). HIV is another disease that has a exceptionally low lifetime risk for many populations but that doesn’t mean that it is useless to look for a vaccine for it, or Ebola or any other disease.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

            Recently, US health authorities recommended testing ALL adults for HIV as part of routine physicals every 5-10 years. Why? Because it happens even to people who think they aren’t at risk, people who do everything right.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:11 am #

            You touch on one of my concerns, as a parent, as I try my best to learn more about the topic and recommendations. HPV is as much of an “opt-in” as any other vaccine…in fact, my OB (who is also my son’s Dr.) was quite persistent that I get the HPV vaccination.
            So, with a recommendation schedule that does not treat ANY vaccination different (there is no CDC message saying “get your MMR, polio, and DTAP at least, but HPV is optional), EVEN THOUGH the risks to public health are QUITE different in the case of HPV and hepatitis, how does a parent make an informed choice?
            Is there even a choice, really, or is opting out of HPV or Hep A&B just as serious as opting out of MMR?

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:15 am #

            The recommendations are the same because no matter how you PLAN to live your life or PLAN to raise your kids, you can’t guarantee that your child will NEVER be exposed to these diseases or never be raped. Once the exposure happens, it’s too late to vaccinate or prevent it. The recommendations are based on the idea that we KNOW we can PREVENT these diseases or we can HOPE that our kids will live just exactly perfectly the way we want them to.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 10:21 am #

            Yes it is just as serious.
            All of these diseases have serious consequences.
            Vaccination could save lives and reduce transmission.

            Measles is more likely to kill you straight away than HPV or Hep B, but that doesn’t mean HPV and Hep B don’t kill or maim.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:22 am #

            If I recall correctly, aren’t children infected with hepatitis viruses are more likely to get serious liver disease than are adults?

            Curiousmama – you’re starting to ask a few real questions. Have you discussed these questions with your “pro-vaccine” pedi?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:19 am #

            I was referred to the CDC website for more information at the time, because I did not have all these specific questions then. I have a lot of thoughts rattling around in my brain and it usually helps to engage in conversation on a topic to shake a few more specific queries loose. As everyone on here probably knows, a pediatrician does not grant hour-long time blocks to have detailed discussions on vaccination 🙂 also, I am paying for those visits…besides the drastic time suck this forum has proven to be, it costs me no money!

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 11:00 am #

            Remember, Hep A and even Hep B are not STDs. Hep B is transmitted in bodily fluid, but that includes saliva. Young children happily swap saliva with the entire planet, hence Hep B can potentially be transmitted in daycares and preschools.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 11:15 am #

            Correct, but since I do not have any Hep B risk factors, nor does anyone my child lives with, and I currently stay at home with my child, I chose to delay that vaccination.

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 11:23 am #

            See my comment above about HBV.

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

            THAT is not protecting your kid. Your kid can get Hep B on playgrounds or on playdates. And Hep B kills more people every year than HIV

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

            Wait until he starts crawling around eating dust bunnies. Around the time my son discovered solid food, he would freak out if he saw anyone eating who didn’t share with him, and he’d also eat food off the floor if I didn’t sweep it up fast enough. Good luck keeping your baby from doing that at other people’s houses.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

            For someone like myself who really does believe that the risks of any CDC recommended vaccine are greatly outweighed by its benefits, there is no need for this sort of guidance. I want my children protected against any disease that there is a vaccine for, regardless of how likely they are to ever be exposed to the disease, or how likely they are to die or be seriously injured by the disease if they do catch it. Why in the world would I want to opt out?

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            BINGO.

          • Karen in SC
            January 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

            Exactly, I recently took my teenager and 21 yr old in for boosters and the last of the HPV. They are males.

          • curiousmama
            January 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

            Your logic makes sense. I am probably skeptical to a fault, and on a topic like this I understand the seriousness of the choice involved.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

            Actually, you are surprisingly NOT skeptical of the nonsense put about by lay vaccine critics. You aren’t a skeptic; you’re a denialist.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:05 am #

            How do you even get that from what I wrote? I get the fact there are rude, hate-filled people out there with nothing but contempt for those they disagree with…but I am not that person.
            No rape victim deserves their fate. Obviously.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 29, 2015 at 11:38 am #

            Who then does deserve their fate? God hasn’t been weighing in much in any sort of concrete way over the last 2,000 years (unless Muslims and/or Mormons are to be believed). Maybe curiousmama would like to serve as His mouthpiece while He is taking this little break. Draw the line for us, curiousmama. Who should NOT have to suffer the consequences of HPV and who SHOULD?

          • curiousmama
            January 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

            If somebody gets HPV, that is not a divine judgment of their behavior…it is a virus (which I believe someone else on this thread even pointed out that viruses don’t have morals…).

            Back to what I originally said, the vaccine is not the ONLY way to REDUCE the risk of CONTRACTING the HPV virus. How much clearer can I get? Am I saying people should not get the vaccine? NO. I was comparing one vaccine and its targeted infection’s risk to the risk of infections like diphtheria and measles, which you can catch even if you are super careful to wash your hands and practice good hygiene.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 30, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

            Great! So we are on the same page then. You and I both recommend the HPV vaccine AND safer sex practices (abstinence if desired, reducing partners, condoms etc). Because HPV is bad, nobody deserves it, and we want to do everything we have available to keep people from having to suffer its effects.

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 11:36 am #

            Do you know what’s really nice? You can give your daughter the HPV vaccine so that she’s protected, and then still teach her anything you want about how you think she should live her life sexually. Getting the vaccine doesn’t mean you suddenly can’t raise her with whatever sexual mores you find appropriate!

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 11:44 am #

            Also, getting the HPV vaccine doesn’t change sexual behavior. I wouldn’t think it would, but I’ve heard some parents say they don’t want it because it will suddenly make their daughters slutty-sluts.
            http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/hpv-vaccination-does-not-change-sexual-behavior/?_r=0

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 11:59 am #

            Jesus moses, the risk of PREGNANCY doesn’t prevent people from having sex, why would they all of a sudden panic over the possibility of HPV?

            The suggestion in the first place is completely loopy.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

            Nor do the risks of HIV or herpes, both of which sound much scarier to your average teen.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

            Not Herpes Simplex X?

            “Tell Mr. Matlin that Ramone just got back from the clinic…”

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

            Bofa, you are dating yourself….

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

            Oh come on, Beverly Hills Cop II came out, when, 1987? 88?

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

            That, combined with the M*A*S*H* quote? SMDH.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

            In the other post, I literally did date myself. I don’t know what there is to shake about.

            Or are you referring to dating myself in other ways, like in a Jackson Browne/Rosie kind of way?

            But Rosie you’re all right – you wear my ring
            When you hold me tight – Rosie that’s my thing
            When you turn out the light – I’ve got to hand it to me
            Looks like it’s me and you again tonight Rosie

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

            Herpiss Sahmplex teen was the first BHC, wasn’t it?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 30, 2015 at 9:38 am #

            You’re right. Victor Matlin was BHC – “Theopolis” was BHC2

          • Roadstergal
            January 30, 2015 at 11:25 am #

            I remember BHC 1 because it had Jonathan Banks, who I rather adore.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

            That’s what you call an emotional appeal? I don’t read it that way at all.

            “70% of cervical cancer cases can be PREVENTED with the vaccine.” Sounds like a fact based statement to me.

            ‘WE CAN PREVENT CANCER with a shot.” Fact based again. Well designed studies show it.

            “Why would you want to deny your child that protection?” That’s not an appeal, that’s a question. Very literally why would you turn this shot down?
            Is it the fact that she used all caps that make it seem like an emotional appeal to you? I think she was using them for emphasis for the *preventive* nature of the shot (as opposed to getting the cancer and then having to treat it). Or maybe you find even just the idea of mentioning cancer and your child together in the same paragraph to be upsetting? I don’t like to think about my kids getting cancer either. I sure wish there were a vaccine for ALL types of cancer not just the ones (cervical, vulvar, penile, mouth, throat etc) caused by HPV.

          • Lisa from NY
            January 29, 2015 at 12:31 am #

            All it takes is ONE wrong sexual partner who had sex with ONE sexual partner who had sex with ONE partner…

            ALL IT TAKES IS ONE!

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 10:03 am #

            True. But to get back to my original point, if the CDC recommends this vaccine as being just as important as other vaccines, and a parent would like to opt out of giving it to their child because it does NOT pose the same health risk as other vaccine preventable diseases, is that parent in the wrong?
            I may agree that MMR, polio, and even varicella are worth receiving…but I get the impression that if I don’t immunize against hepatitis, influenza, or HPV I will still be treated like a pariah on forums such as this.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 10:32 am #

            get the impression that if I don’t immunize against hepatitis, influenza, or HPV I will still be treated like a pariah on forums such as this

            Yes, probably. Because there is no good reason NOT to do it. Opposition to vaccines based on moralistic grounds as you’ve done is unrealistic, both in an expectation sense and in the fact that people are victims of others, and the passive-aggressive judgement that accompanies it doesn’t help. And opposition to flu vaccine is just….baseless.

            It’s not that you don’t do it that makes you a pariah, it’s your ignorant attempts to justify it. It’s true, “forums such as this” don’t have a lot of patience for nonsense.

          • Dinolindor
            January 29, 2015 at 10:37 am #

            Here is a pretty good piece on why newborns get the hepatitis B vaccine: http://shotofprevention.com/2010/05/06/why-infants-should-receive-the-hepatitis-b-vaccine-at-birth/

            And a good excerpt: “Parents need to understand that the hepatitis B virus can be spread by infectious blood and body fluids, and not solely through sexual contact. As a parent myself, I can recall countless times that I have tended to children, both my own and others, who have suffered scrapes, cuts, nose bleeds and even bites from frustrated playmates. These are realistic opportunities for exposure since the CDC has stated that the virus remains viable and infectious in the environment for at least 7 days and can remain present in inanimate objects absent of visible blood. Since only 7 out of 10 infected adults show any signs or symptoms, and infected children under age 5 rarely show any symptoms at all, it is obvious how the infected population can easily, and unknowingly, be transmitting the disease to others.”

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 11:21 am #

            I bang on the HBV vaccine a lot, because HBV is a freakazoid virus. With most viruses, you count their ability to live on surfaces outside of the body in minutes or hours. With HBV, it’s _weeks_. It’s a persistent little bugger. Can you keep your kid’s skinned knees and curious hands and mouth away from every surface that an HBV+ person might have deposited a bit of fluid on in the past few weeks?

          • guest
            January 29, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

            Also, in addition to everyone else’s comments – we don’t compare the risks of vaccine to vaccine, that just doesn’t make any sense. It’s comparing the risks of vaccinating vs. not vaccinating. The CDC is recommending vaccinating against HPV not because it has the same, say death rate, as measles, but because the risk of adverse reaction to the HPV vaccination is less than the risk of developing adverse complications from the disease itself (which, as mentioned, most women get at some point.) And, we know that HPV can cause death, so why would you risk that if you knew the risk of death in the vaccine was much lower. That’s why you vaccinate, it’s about balancing risks.

            To illustrate, my great grandmother and my grandmother both developed polio during the 50s. My great grandmother almost died. She had to use crutches to walk the rest of her life. My grandma got off easy, she just had a limp. I vaccinate my kids, knowing there’s a slim chance they could have a major reaction, because I know the likelihood of that happening is so, so, so, so much lower than them having to live through what my grandma and great grandma lived through. I can’t guarantee that my kids will never get infected with the wild strain of polio even if I keep them super clean, just like I can’t guarantee my kids won’t be raped or have a sexual partner who has HPV even if they make the choices you’re advocating.

        • Stacy48918
          January 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

          ” other ways to combat these lesser illnesses are being passed over”
          No, we tried “other ways” for centuries…and MILLIONS of people still died. Then we found truly effective prevention – vaccines. They have minimal side effects and wonderful efficacy. There is no reason to go back to things we know didn’t work. That’s how we ended up with vaccines in the first place.

          And HPV absolutely does threaten the population as a whole. Some estimates state that 75% of the sexually active population carries HPV.

        • Stacy48918
          January 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

          Yes, words have meanings.

          ACTIONS have even greater meanings. ACTIONS like choosing not to vaccinate your child and so risking the LIVES of immunocompromised individuals around you who have no choice in the matter.

          Sorry your feelings were hurt, but I prioritize human LIVES a little bit higher.

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 28, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

          “lesser diseases that do not threaten the population as a whole (such as HPV).
          Based on that, I have a concern that because “vaccination” is such a favored approach, perhaps other ways to combat these lesser illnesses are being passed over”
          Before we had HPV vaccination we used only “other ways” to combat it. Abstinence and condoms were promoted, but 75% of women came down with it anyway. So these women were tested every year with a pap smear and when the virus led to precancerous or cancerous changes, they were treated. And yes, thousands of women died each year of cervical cancer. But they weren’t the only ones who died or were injured…babies were injured and died. Why? Because to treat the pre-cancers and early cancers, they had to use these “other ways” you laud. They had to freeze the cervix, and do LEEPs and other cone excisions. This can eliminate the infection and saves the woman, but her cervix may never be the same and may not carry to term, leading to preemies who suffer and have permanent deficits or die. But I guess these moms and babies aren’t important to you.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

            Again, so interesting that flippant comments like the one you tacked on the end of your post are so common amongst adults having a discussion. One would think the ability to edit, pause and reflect before hitting the “reply” button would cull some of these statements.

            I did not find anything at the CDC website with the 75% number…can you link to your source?

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 11:03 am #

            Here is a good summary from the year 2000 that I found on the CDC website- It shows prevelence of all sorts of stds, including HPV.

            http://www.cdc.gov/std/trends2000/trends2000.pdf

            In this document, the source of the 75% statistic was referenced. Here is a link directly to it:
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934397001770

    • attitude devant
      January 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

      curiousmama, what makes you think that isn’t the way public health officials and infectious disase specialists already operate?

      Certain things are managed/prevented quite effectively with vaccines: smallpox has been eradicated, polio is not seen in the first world. Measles is eradicable but has not been eradicated to date, probably because of resistance to the MMR thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wakefield. Ideally the goal is always lifelong immunity, but not every vaccine is as effective as another in provoking lifelong immunity. That’s just a fact, and that’s why we have boosters for things like pertussis, diptheria, and tetanus.

      Other things are NOT well-managed with vaccines. Gonococcus seems to provoke no immune response. HIV seems to be too unstable (although they’re working on it…). Still more diseases need appropriate vaccines but they are in development, cf, Ebola.
      So in those diseases we focus on surveillance, treatment, and containment.

      In reality, the public health/infectious disease world is all over this stuff like a cheap suit. These guys are really good at what they do.

      Now, I suspect you’re going to be be REALLY dissatisfied with this answer, because you actually aren’t asking for an answer; you’re looking for an opening to dismantle the whole edifice of vaccine science.

      Sorry to disappoint, but we’re not playing.

      • curiousmama
        January 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

        I suppose it is too much to ask for people here to give me the benefit of the doubt – it is disappointing to me how most of the commenters have either outright dismissed me, insulted me, or made arrogant conclusions on what my true purpose is. This behavior reinforces my whole point – when partisan differences are what define the conversation, it can’t go very far. I appreciate the first part of your post. As a first time mom who LOVES research (and took many college science courses), I appreciate any legitimate studies you can refer me to, or resources for delving into current research on vaccination and immunology.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

          The benefit of what doubt? You are a layperson who doesn’t understand the underlying science. You still haven’t explained why your opinions ought to matter.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

            Wow. I was referring to being given the benefit of the doubt that I am not in the same boat as those you call WOOers, anti-vaxxers, etc. And you respond with another insult on my intelligence and dismiss me from the conversation.

          • attitude devant
            January 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

            Jeebus curiousmama! what i said is BASIC public health. If you want to learn more, read ANYTHING by Paul Offit or Seth Mnookin.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

            Thank you for the recommendations.

          • attitude devant
            January 28, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

            So read “The Panic Virus” —amazon’s got it for $13 or so.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 28, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

            I second this recommendation.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 9:49 am #

            I have already explored the Wakefield controversy, and I have a wonderful book at home written by a British doctor that explores naturopathy, homeopathy, vitamins, placebos, errors in trials, vaccines and more…I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the book or the author, it is quite irritating. He is definitely anti-quack, and I wish I could recall the book name because I am sure many on this thread would enjoy reading it.

            I will still look at this source.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 29, 2015 at 10:00 am #

            I bet you mean Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science and Bad Pharma, both of which I’ve read, and recommend heartily.

            http://www.badscience.net/about-dr-ben-goldacre/

            He’s probably the most pro-vax person you could find, and I don’t think he’d agree with your position on HPV vaccinations…

            http://www.badscience.net/2009/10/jabs-as-bad-as-the-cancer/

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 11:17 am #

            Or this:
            http://trickortreatment.com/

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

            thank you

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

            YES THANK YOU! man that was bothering me! thank you for the link

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

            But you ARE in the same boat as the woo-ers and anti-vaxxers. You keep repeating all their talking points. How do you think you are different from them?

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

            Are you all so used to reading these “talking points” that you truly can’t distinguish the difference between what I have brought up and their unoriginal, false ideas?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 28, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

            You think your “ideas” are original? Or unfalse?

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 9:46 am #

            I don’t claim to have 100% original ideas – someone out there I am sure has had them, and perhaps others posting on this site say similar things…and if I don’t state something as fact (which I didn’t do in my very first post), I find it hard to believe you can label it true or false…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 9:48 am #

            Yeah, that’s right. You were “just asking questions…”

            JAQing off is a really low form of internet communication. And also unoriginal.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 9:51 am #

            Right. Because somehow I am supposed to learn about this topic without having any thoughts of my own to bring to the table? I am now not even able to ask questions of anyone here without being suspected of low intelligence?
            High standards.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 9:55 am #

            Your initial question was answered. Of course, it was based on a total straw man (that people aren’t thinking about alternate ways), and that got pointed out right off.

            Of course, your real motivations came clear as the discussion went on, and it was a pretty good sign that the initial responses treating you as disingenuous were pretty much spot on the mark.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 10:06 am #

            LOL!

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 28, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

            Apparently you can’t, either. Otherwise you would have pointed out the differences to me.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

            Perhaps a little background would be helpful.

            I took 6 college science courses, all with labs. I am familiar with the scientific method, reading scientific papers (not just the abstract), forming hypotheses and asking questions.

            I lost my first child from a miscarriage and did not find out until I was 18 weeks along. I received care from both a CPM (I was considering a home birth) and an in-hospital family practitioner/OBGYN. There were no CNMs in my area. I found your website and read MANY of your posts along with more comments than I can remember. Though I find your approach to be abrasive and even rude at times, I still considered your points and ultimately chose to have my next child at the hospital. I did not like my experience at the hospital, but I was not traumatized and both baby and I were fine. Of course, this is just one more anecdote in a country full of individual stories, but it has formed the way I look at this issue, among others.

            I do NOT appreciate conjecture, logical fallacies, and bias. I have dismissed a lot of popular alternative thinkers/websites/theories because of this, including Dr. Sears, Ina May Gaskin, etc. While they may have some good ideas, their mostly false premises overshadow them.

            My son is very important to me, and I do not appreciate being treated as a lesser being simply because I don’t carry initials after my name. If degrees were free to obtain, I would pursue as many as possible in my lifetime.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

            When everything you say sounds like it’s coming from Dr. Sears or Jenny McCarthy…what else are we supposed to assume?

            Start saying something NOT directly out of the anti-vaxx playbook and we’ll be interested.

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

            The Jenny McCarthy comment is totally OT, and I have not even read Dr. Sears or his book ON PURPOSE because I do not trust his “expertise”. I’m not saying anything out of the anti-vaxx playbook, my original post had serious questions and reflected true curiosity and openness to learn.

            It is ridiculous to put me in the same box as people who spew false information on this site and repeat claims that are quite clearly untrue.

          • Stacy48918
            January 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

            Your 6 month old child hasn’t received any vaccines, yet you’re nothing like Dr. Sears. Sure.

            I’ve given you a legitimate question, rephrasing your original post. Have you considered it? Why does the immunity from the whooping cough vaccine wear off quicker than the MMR vaccine? Are you TRULY interested in exploring the REAL answer to legitimate questions? Or are you just set in your “belief” that vaccines aren’t a good “platform” for immunity?

          • curiousmama
            January 28, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

            http://whoopingcough.net

            I found this website while reading about the experience of a family who vaccinated some of their children but not all – 3 got whooping cough, it lasted 3 months, and she was very candid in describing how awful it was for them.

            Just because I made a decision with my very pro-vaccination pediatrician to wait before vaccinating my son (who has no hepatitis risk factors, is in general good health, and stays home with me) does NOT make me like Dr. Sears, Andrew Wakefield, or any other anti-vax source.

            I do not have a fully formed belief on the issue because my ignorance is greater than my knowledge, and I strive to learn more because I believe in informed consent whenever possible.

          • Who?
            January 28, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

            Not sure it is appropriate to characterise a doctor who is following the best practice guidelines as pro-vaccine. He or she is following best practice guidelines.

            A doctor doing anything else is an outlier, not following best practice, and may be engaging in solo, untried practices that could see him or her disciplined by their professional accreditation board.

            I know who I’d prefer to entrust care to.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 1:46 am #

            My doctor has respected my decision to wait on vaccines for now, while also expressing his wish that we do get our son vaccinated even if it means doing a delayed schedule…are you suggesting that best practice would be a different approach, like refusing to see my son for well checks until he was vaccinated?

          • Who?
            January 29, 2015 at 2:30 am #

            I’d have listened to the doctor first up.

            However, if I was into researching things I know nothing about, to help me feel better armed to argue with professional advice, I would have found out what the recommended schedule was and if the doctor deviated from that, asked why.

            Smart people spend their lives thinking about this stuff. I’m a smart person who spends my time thinking about stuff other than medicine. My clients are actually clients, not patients, and I don’t care whether or not they take my advice-no one dies if they don’t, and I get paid either way.

            If I had life and death responsibility, especially for children though, I’d take a different line. Your doctor’s seems appropriate-humouring those who are patronising enough to think they knew as much as he does. Anything to get it done, I’d think, eventually is better than not at all.

          • curiousmama
            January 29, 2015 at 9:43 am #

            I am a parent.
            I am not an “expert” in immunology, virology, vaccinations or pediatric health care.
            I do not believe that medical care is meant to be something reserved only for the wealthy….which is why I see the merit in “Eastern” medicine, holistic/nature-based care, which is what humans relied on before germ theory, antibiotics, and surgery. Many lives are saved with these advances, and I do not believe they are “evil” or “wrong”…I just have a hard time accepting that the two different approaches to disease are mutually exclusive.
            We have a habit, as human beings, to separate things into categories…so Eastern medicine vs Western medicine becomes wrong vs right, quack vs expert…

            Is that necessary? Are parents just supposed to follow the CDC recommendations to the letter, and if they don’t are they ignorant? Irresponsible? Ill-informed?

          • Roadstergal
            January 29, 2015 at 11:16 am #

            “I see the merit in “Eastern” medicine”

            I don’t, and I’ve worked with a lot of Chinese, Indonesian, and Indian scientists who don’t, either. What’s with this racist meme that only white people do things scientifically, and people from the mysterious ‘east’ can’t?

            Science-based medicine is plenty holistic. We take things in a stepwise approach – trying to understand parts of the system, then introducing more complexity and trying to understand the system as we make it more and more real-world.

            SBM has a nice set of posts on how ‘TCM’ was created fairly recently to fill a need for medicine when there weren’t enough real doctors.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 29, 2015 at 11:32 am #

            It is not a matter of Eastern medicine vs. Western medicine- it is more along the lines of unproven strategies (or strategies that have been tested and proven to be ineffective) vs strategies that have been studied and proven effective. Think of the example of willow-bark tea, which was part of a folk medicine tradition. It was tested by scientific processes and found to contain a substance (salicylic acid) that had real and reproducible effects. This substance was purified and forms the basis of what we know call aspirin…it became part of Western medicine because it was effective.

          • curiousmama
            January 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

            But is it fair to claim that the ONLY remedies/treatments that work are those prescribed by modern first world medical practitioners? Research takes money, and not every folk remedy or home treatment gets tested…some merely because there is no market or profit to be made…especially if the ingredients are plant based or from commonly occurring substances. Are only vitamins made by Centrum and others I see advertised in my pediatrician’s office “proven”? That is where I have my doubts about the objectivity and knowledge of the medical field…from my limited observation, modern medicine does not encompass every possible, known remedy for the ailments we seek treatment for…

          • Roadstergal
            January 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

            “Because science is not perfect, some random fairy tales might have more value than science.”

            No. The strength of science is that it continually questions itself and isn’t afraid to say it was wrong in the past.

            But because a recommendation has changed, does not mean science is _wrong_. The statement “the earth is round” is not correct. But it is more correct than the statement “the earth is flat.” Science moves towards more and more accurate representation of reality. Being proven ‘wrong’ means that someone has come up with a better model. Not that dragons are suddenly real.

            Okay, so you have some herb that someone says treats headaches. You can test that. You can look in a blinded fashion (some people get the herb, some get a different herb that tastes similar enough that they can’t tell the difference) and see if it has a real effect. If it does, you identify the active ingredient. Do you know why people don’t chew on foxglove instead of taking their digoxin? Because we know, from preclinical experiments and clinical trials, what the right amount is, and we can make sure people who need it don’t get too little for their condition, which is one type of bad, or too much, which is another.

            If a herb or root or berry has an effect, it can be studied scientifically, and the optimal dose can be identified. And that’s always better than just mashing it into your kid’s tea and hoping they get the right amount.

            Vitamins: Shown in many trials to be useless or even harmful in the absence of tested deficiency. Supplement manufacturers are given way more leeway than drug manufacturers when it comes to safety and efficacy. Maybe the same streak in your pediatrician that makes him/her keep anti-vax parents in his practice makes him/her open to additional woo. I’d complain and have those posters taken down. Of course, an anti-vaxxer complaining might not carry as much weight…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 30, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

            Why wouldn’t there be a market for them?

            It’s true that there could be some folk remedy that could work, but then again…the chance that any specific folk remedy works? Pretty small.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 30, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

            I agree with Roadstergal. She responded with exactly what I wanted to say, and much more articulately than I could say it myself.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

            “I see the merit in “Eastern” medicine, holistic/nature-based care”
            Well pretty much the entirety of the scientific community with their pesky studies and research papers doesn’t.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

            Oh Stacy, not completely. Doctors provide holistic care all the time. And a very large extent of our drugs are “nature based” in that they were initially found in nature.

          • Stacy48918
            January 29, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

            Oh I can agree in the way that folks here might use the term “holistic”. Trouble is, that’s not usually what anti-vaxxer’s mean. 🙂

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

            That’s because they don’t actually know what it means.