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HPV vaccine about cancer, not sex

Dear Editor:

The reason I am writing is to try to balance what was posted in last week’s letter to The Reporter titled “Can’t vaccinate against reckless behavior.”

Why am I so passionate about correcting the information on HPV and the vaccines? On June 1, 2008 we our 23-year-old daughter, Kristen, died after a courageous fight against HPV— caused cervical cancer. The vaccine would have led to a different outcome for Kristen.

Six years ago Australia saw the opportunity to eradicate cervical cancer within 10 years by the use of the HPV vaccine. They initiated a program to inoculate all 11 to 12-year-old girls and did just that. They achieved an 85 percent-plus inoculation rate. This means millions of young ladies were vaccinated. If Australia had thought there was a serious threat of adverse side effects, I doubt they would have chosen to put their entire population of young ladies at risk. Several other countries have followed Australia’s example. These facts should speak volumes alone.

The argument about the vaccination of an 11- or 12-year-old affecting a boy or girl’s attitude toward sexual activity later in life has been proven bogus by recent studies. Most children can not even remember what they have even been vaccinated for. As a father who lost his daughter to this horrible disease, I am dumbfounded by anyone who uses this as an excuse to expose their daughters and sons to cervical and oral cancers caused by HPV.

Kristen’s cancer battle led to the book, “Love, Kristen,” which tells about her experience. While doing research for the book, we learned how little women know about HPV and its tie to cervical and oral cancers; the availability and importance of HPV and Pap screening tests and safe, effective vaccines. This fact led to the founding of the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation and the creation of the Cervical Cancer-Free Indiana Initiative.

The mission of the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation (kristeneve.org) is to eliminate cervical cancer and significantly reduce HPV infection levels. The Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation. is a 501c3 non-profit corporation based in Noblesville, Ind.

People need to understand that the HPV vaccination is about cancer....not sex.

Kirk Forbes
Kristen Forbes
EVE Foundation