The HPV vaccine was just approved for adults, despite Merck’s concerning research data. The FDA made its determination in the face of substantial evidence of the dangers of the HPV vaccine and the existence of safer alternatives. For women who have already been exposed to certain strains of the HPV virus, vaccination can actually increase the risk of precancerous lesions by 44.6%. That’s right: if you are already infected with HPV, getting vaccinated could increase your risk of getting cancer. To put this in perspective, 79 million Americans are thought to be infected with HPV, and about 14 million are newly infected each year, making HPV the most common sexually transmitted infection. Often there are no symptoms. The CDC says that “HPV is so common that almost every person who is sexually active will get HPV at some time in their life.” A large, government-backed push to get more people vaccinated for HPV could actually increase many people’s risk of getting cancer.

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