January 19, 2010
McGill researcher led groundbreaking study
Human papillomavirus has been found in more than half of young adults in new sexual relationships, a groundbreaking Montreal study has reported.
Led by Dr. Eduardo Franco¬ – director of McGill University’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit – and a team of McGill and University of Montreal researchers, the study reported that 56 per cent of participants were infected with at least one type of HPV and 44 per cent of that group were infected with a high-risk type of the disease known to cause cervical cancer. They also found that the prevalence of HPV in one partner was a strong predictor of HPV in the other partner.
The HPV Infection and Transmission in Couples Through Heterosexual Activity, or HITCH Cohort, study used a data set of 263 women aged 18 to 24 and their male partners, all from the Montreal area. It is the first study to focus on young heterosexual couples in new relationships, the period when most transmissions of the virus occurs between partners.
“We have really focussed on the window where transmission of the virus is most likely to occur to know how common HPV is in those partnerships and to know the potential of its transmission when you have a new partner,” said Dr. Ann Burchell, project co-ordinator and former post-doctoral fellow with Franco.
Understanding transmission between partners is what makes this study so groundbreaking. While most HPV studies focus on only one gender, HITCH looks at couples to understand and discover how easy it is for HPV to be transmitted, what factors make it easier to transmit, and what factors stop it from transmitting.
“Internationally, we are the only study of this kind,” Burchell said.
Comment from Leslie
HPV screenings need to be done prior to inoculation. There are many girls who have had the Gardasil shot and now 2 years later are getting pap smears and showing cervical lesions and cancer. We have even heard of one case of a girl getting cervical cancer twice and that Merck is paying for the surgeries. We are trying to confirm this. I would not normally post something like this without authentication – however, in light of this study – women should be aware of what is happening behind the scenes.