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Gardasil’s Scare Tactic Ads Do More Harm Than Good, One Woman Says

Lux Alptraum has written an intriguing piece for Jezebel, “The HPV Vaccine’s Misguided Scare Tactics.” Alptraum argues that Merck, which manufactures Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, uses scare tactics in its commercials to push women to get the HPV vaccine, thereby driving more money into Merck’s deep pockets. One commercial features an animated woman going to the gynecologist for her annual pap smear and finding out she has full-blown cervical cancer. The music is grim. The tone is doomed. An alarmist vibe permeates the tale. In fact, Alptraum says, women who get annual pap smears are highly unlikely to develop cervical cancer, if HPV is caught early. In addition, the woman in the ad is white, while the fastest growing group of women getting diagnosed with cervical cancer is Hispanic women. Alptraum isn’t against Gardasil; she got it. But we agree that terrifying women is no way to get them to pursue good gynecological health practices. Watch the ad, read the story, and decide for yourself. [Jezebel]

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