Scientists are testing a new vaccine that will aid in preventing the development of cervical cancer in women. Caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), cervical cancer annually infects more than half a million women globally, 200,000 of whom do not survive. It is the second largest cancer killer among women.
Dr. Daron Ferris, who is conducting the tests in the U.S., said "If the vaccine is successful, then we would want to vaccinate the population and that would include vaccinating school-age children at approximately 12 years of age, before individuals become sexually active. Since this is a sexually acquired infection, it would also make sense to vaccinate boys."
The vaccine is targeted to work against the most common type of HPV by creating virus-like particles from protein on the outside of the virus. It deceives the body's immune system into thinking that the virus is attacking it, therefore initiating an immune response.
Scientists believe that eventually, the need for the Pap smear test, which detects pre-cancerous cells on the surface of the cervix, would diminish.
British pathologist, Margaret Stanely, commented that "This work is tremendously exciting and an extremely important development in the fight against a disease that kills so many women in this country and throughout the world."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .