Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gardasil In The News CA Bill AB 499 Latest Battle Ground As Republican Presidential Candidates Weigh In On The Issue.

Dear Assemblyman Mike Feuer,

I am contacting you in regards to the bill AB499. I have the utmost respect for you in your voting record, however I feel the democrat assembly members have been duped on this bill.
Please read below to learn about the most current statistics on the adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine:

CA Bill AB499 - Undermining parental rightsChildren as young as 12 will be subject to vaccination with Gardasil or other STD vaccines without their parent’s knowledge or consent.

Gardasil Bill Sent To Governor: Bishops Urge Catholics To Push For Veto Of AB 499

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System - VAERS
HPV 4 Gardasil ® – HPV 2 Cervarix ®
June 2006 – July 2011 -- Numbers reflect 1 to 10% of vaccinated population reporting

Did Not Recover-4616-4538-40-38
Abnormal Pap Smear-387-387--
Cervical Dysplasia-144-144--
Cervical Cancer-41-41--
Life Threatening-440-429-9-2
Emergency Rm. Visit-8926-8718-130-78
Extended Hospital Stay-199-196-3-0
Adverse Events-22619-21708-449-462

Feb 22, 2011 – Federal law protects pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits by parents who claim that vaccines harmed their children.

In the September 2008, FDA Closing Statement on Gardasil it was noted that 73.3% of girls in the clinical trials developed “new medical conditions” post vaccination.  17 girls died during the clinical trials.

Cervical cancer is a rare disease in developed countries which invalidates the recommendations for universal immunization with any HPV vaccine. The incidence of cervical cancer has dropped substantially since implementation of regular Pap screening procedures. Currently, in the US, the death rate from cervical cancer (2.4/100,000 women) is lower than the rate of reported serious adverse events, including death, from Gardasil (3.34/100,000 doses distributed).
Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, University of British Columbia 

February 1, 2011 By Norma 7 Comments
By Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD

All drugs are associated with some risks of adverse reactions and vaccines are no exception. In weighing risks versus benefits, one has to keep in mind that vaccines represent a special category of drugs since they are generally given to healthy individuals. If there are uncertain benefits from a vaccine, only a small level of risk of harmful effects may be acceptable. If the benefits are certain, then a greater risk of side effects may be tolerated. Here I review the current evidence which indicates that the former case applies to Gardasil, the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccine:

1)               The efficacy of Gardasil in preventing cervical cancer has not been demonstrated and the marketing campaign has been misleading. The efficacy of Gardasil remains unsubstantiated since the vaccine hasn’t been adequately tested on the primary age group to which it is currently given.

Merck promoted Gardasil primarily as a vaccine against cervical cancer, rather than promoting it as a vaccine against HPV infection or sexually transmitted diseases 1.

According to recent reports published in two highly respected scientific journals, Nature Biotechnology and Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA):

Most genital infections are asymptomatic and resolve spontaneously, but the virus can persist and cause precancerous lesions that can become malignant over the subsequent 20-30 years.“ (Nature Biotechnology, 2007 2)

“So how should a parent, physician, politician, or anyone else decide whether it is a good thing to give young girls a vaccine that partly prevents infection caused by a sexually transmitted disease (HPV infection), an infection that in a few cases will cause cancer 20 to 40 years from now? (JAMA, 2009 3).

The fact is that malignant cervical cancer takes decades to develop 2 3 and yet the longest clinical trial on Gardasil was only four years in duration 4. In other words, Gardasil was never shown to prevent cervical cancer .

Furthermore, in all clinical trials conducted by Merck the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3 precancerous lesion was used as the efficacy endpoint for evaluating the Gardasil 4. What is the problem with using the CIN 2/3 lesion as the standard for efficacy?

First, if the marketing claim for Gardasil is that the vaccine “protects against cervical cancer” 1 2 5, then cervical cancer should have been used as the endpoint for efficacy, not a surrogate marker such as a CIN 2/3 precancerous lesion [emphasis added]. Second, in the natural course of cervical cancer, only a small fraction of the CIN 2 lesions will progress to CIN 3 lesions and only a small fraction of CIN 3 lesions will eventually progress to cervical cancer 6.

Furthermore, even CIN 3 lesions are heterogeneous (there are early small lesions and old advanced lesions and we do not know what proportion of the small lesions, which serve as clinical endpoints in current studies, would persist to become large, advanced CIN3 lesions) 7.

Therefore, in any female population (and that includes those who have undergone Gardasil clinical trials) there are many more CIN 2 lesions than a combination of CIN 3 lesions and cervical cancers. As a result, the vast majority of the “CIN 2/3 or worse” cases used for evaluation of efficacy, and listed in Merck‟s report to FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC Background Document on Gardasil HPV Quadrivalent Vaccine 8), must have been CIN 2 lesions.

In a review of the literature from 1950-1992, it was noted that 60% of CIN 1 lesions regressed, 30% persisted, 10% progressed to CIN 3, and only 1% progressed to invasive cancer. The corresponding approximations for CIN 2 were 40%, 40%, 20%, and 5%, respectively. The likelihood of CIN 3 regressing was 33% and that of progressing to invasive cancer was greater than 12% 6.

The author of the study, Andrew G Östör, MD, from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Pathology, University of Melbourne noted 6:

“It is obvious from the above figures that the probability of an atypical epithelium becoming invasive increases with the severity of the atypia, but does not occur in every case. Even the higher degrees of atypia may regress in a significant proportion of cases. As morphology by itself does not predict which lesion will progress or regress, future efforts should seek factors other than morphological to determine the prognosis in individual patients.” 

The above remark leads us to a third reason why a surrogate morphological marker is not an adequate endpoint for assessing the efficacy of cervical cancer vaccines 9:

CIN 2 is not a true biologic entity but an equivocal diagnosis of pre-cancer, representing an admixture of HPV infection and pre-cancer. The existence of CIN 2 biopsy results as a clinical entity may be the consequence of the inaccuracies of colposcopy and colposcopically directed biopsy, which could result in less than-perfect representation of the underlying disease state.” 

Furthermore, the same report by the National Cancer Institute (NCI 9) states that:

“That CIN2 is the least reproducible of all histopathologic diagnoses may in part reflect sampling error…”

Finally, according to second report by the NCI 10:

“Approximately 40% of undiagnosed CIN 2 will regress over two years” (this also precisely corroborates the findings of the study by Östör)
Gardasil is marketed as the vaccine that prevents cervical cancer 1 2 5.This statement is incorrect. Based on the above NCI findings, we can conclude that the data presented in the VRBPAC Background Document on Gardasil HPV Quadrivalent Vaccine 8 only supports the claim thatGardasil can prevent “an equivocal diagnosis of pre-cancer, representing an admixture of HPV infection and pre-cancer” - about half of which are self-reversing to normal cases and not reflect actual cervical cancer. 

There was yet another important oversight in assessing the efficacy of Gardasil. Most cervical cancers are believed to be linked to infection with genital HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 2 3 11. According to NCI, the only reliable HPV genotyping method is a “PCR system with short target sequences”12 or alternatively, “ ’sentinel-base’ genotyping by PCR” 13 Ironically, these HPV genotyping methods were never used to determine the HPV type associated with precancerous lesions in the clinical trials for evaluation of the efficacy of Gardasil to prevent type-specific HPV infections.

2)              Cervical cancer is a rare disease in developed countries which invalidates the recommendations for universal immunization with any HPV vaccine. The incidence of cervical cancer has dropped substantially since implementation of regular Pap screening procedures. Currently, in the US, the death rate from cervical cancer (2.4/100,000 women) is lower than the rate of reported serious adverse events, including death, from Gardasil (3.34/100,000 doses distributed)

The severity of cervical cancer should not be undermined. Advanced cervical cancer is a deadly disease, especially in areas where the resources and infrastructure to fully implement

Papanicolaou (Pap) smear tests are limited such as Latin America, Africa, India and South Asia 2. In the past four decades, industrialized countries such as the US, have cut cervical cancer mortality and incidence rates by 74% largely through the use of the Pap smear 2 .

Thus, as noted by Diane Harper, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Community and Family Medicine and Informatics and Personalized Medicine, who conducted the phase 2 and phase 3 trials for Gardasil, authoring their publications, in developed countries such as the US, which have regular Pap screening programs in place, the HPV vaccine will do little to decrease the already very small cancer rate. In fact, Harper noted that if women who are vaccinated stop going for Pap smears, the incidence rate for cervical cancer would increase 14. 

Based on L1-encoded virus-like particles, Gardasil should protect against the HPV genotypes 16 and 18, which are thought to account for 70% of cervical cancers 2. Since Gardasil does not even claim to protect against all cases of cervical cancer but only those “caused by HPV strains 16 & 18”, it does not replace the need for a regular pap smear. 

More crucially, however, for deciding whether a risk of adverse effects from the HPV vaccine is worth taking, much depends on the perceived benefit from the vaccine relative to that risk. If benefits are indeed substantial, then many individuals would be willing to accept the risk. However, if the benefit of the vaccine has not been demonstrated and is in fact only speculative, and if a majority of those women who are persistently infected with HPV are not likely to develop cancer providing they are adequately screened 2 3, then most reasonably they will only be willing to accept very small risk of harm from the vaccine. Data from clinical safety trials argue against small risks from Gardasil vaccination.

In a paper published in JAMA, Slade et al. (2009) 11 report that from June 1, 2006, through December 31, 2008, the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received 12, 424 reports of adverse reaction following receipt of Gardasil amongst which, 772 (6.2%) were serious, including 32 deaths. Given the overall reporting rate of 53.9 reports per 100, 000 vaccine doses distributed 11, the estimated rate of reported serious adverse events from Gardasil is 3.34/100, 000 doses distributed. This rate is higher than the death rate from cervical cancer in the US which stands at 2.4/100, 000 women (according to CDC statistics, 15).

Harper poses an important question 14:

Would a parent accept such a rate of serious adverse events if the same cancer prevention can occur with continued Pap screening? Is there any acceptable level of risk of serious adverse events, including death, to prevent genital warts?” [emphasis added]
The later claim was in reference to one of the vaccine’s other claimed benefits.

3) Most HPV infections are benign and resolve spontaneously without causing cervical cancer
According to Harper 16:

“70% of all HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment within a year. Within two years, the number climbs to 90%. Of the remaining 10% of HPV infections, only half will develop into cervical cancer.”
These numbers are consistent with those above quoted from Nature Biotechnology 2:

Most genital infections are asymptomatic and resolve spontaneously, but the virus can persist and cause precancerous lesions that can become malignant over the subsequent 20-30 years.“

In addition, in a recent JAMA editorial, Charlotte Haug, MD, PhD, emphasized 3:

“The virus does not appear to be very harmful because almost all HPV infections are cleared by the immune system. In a few women, the HPV infection persists, and some women may develop precancerous cervical lesions and eventually cancer. It is currently impossible to predict in which women this will occur and why. Likewise, it is impossible to predict exactly what effect vaccination of young girls and women will have on the incidence of cervical cancer 20 to 40 years from now.”

Thus, again, there appears to be little rationale in support of universal immunization with any HPV vaccine.

(Note from SaneVax:  Are the benefits of Gardasil vaccination worth the risks? Take a good look at the following in-depth study, then decide for yourself.)

Who will pay for these vaccinations? The state, through the overburdened taxpayer? Currently the price of the HPV vaccine series alone is $360 per person. This does not include administrative costs.

Who will track how many vaccinations a child receives when the child could receive the vaccinations from multiple sources?  Where will the vaccine information be recorded since the child will not have their medical records with them? Who will track the child and be on the lookout for an adverse vaccine reaction? 

How will the parent not duplicate the vaccinations in the doctor's office if the parent is not aware of previously-administered vaccinations?

Who will determine if the child falls within the category of those who should not be vaccinated on the label (especially in the absence of the child's medical records and the child's parent)?

What about children with developmental disabilities? Would any child regardless of mental function be able to decide to take these vaccinations? Will there be a mental fitness test, and who will determine the meaning of the outcome?

And finally, this bill is in violation of existing Federal Vaccine Law. The Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (PL-99-660) states:

(1) physicians must give parents vaccine benefit and risk information before vaccination

(2) physicians must report serious health problems, injuries, hospitalizations and deaths following vaccination to a centralized federally operated Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS);

(3) they must write down serious health problems following vaccination in the individual’s permanent medical record

(4) keep a permanent record of vaccinations given, including manufacturer’s names and lots numbers.

The above law could not be followed under AB499.

The Canary Party urges Governor Brown to VETO this dangerous, costly bill, that takes away parental authority and rights, and violates existing Federal Vaccine Laws.

Please contact me and we can discuss further before Governor Brown signs this bill.

Thank your for your time.

Deborah Merlin
3044 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Rick Perry's Gardasil decision influenced by the fact that his former chief of staff had gone to work for Merck? Perry's quick-on-his-feet reply was that having raised $30 million for his gubernatorial campaign, he couldn't be bought for a mere $5000...See all stories on this topic »

Another medical issue: Why only vaccinate girls? After all, research at the time showed that Gardasil might reduce anal cancer rates: But that part of the study, which would have benefited sexually active gay men in particular, seemed to fall off the ...See all stories on this topic »

Along With Thousands To Perry, Merck Gave Big To The Governor’s Biggest Donor

Earlier today, we reported that Merck, the manufacturer of the human papillomavirus vaccine that Gov. Rick Perry attempted to mandate for Texas girls in 2007, has given more than the $5,000 Perry said it had given him Monday night.

The figure on donations from the company’s political action committee actually come closer to $30,000 over the time Perry’s been governor — though still a pittance compared to the governor’s total campaign contributions, and Perry could still be “offended,” as he said last night, by the suggestion he coud be bought for even that much.

But as the Washington Post reports today, along with nearly $30,000 directly, Merck gave more than $355,000 to the Republican Governors Association in the years since Perry became prominent in the group. Perry was chairman of the RGA in 2008 and earlier this year, until he launched his presidential campaign.

As the Los Angeles Times points out today, Perry wasn’t just an influential figure in the group — he’s also been one of its biggest beneficiaries, bringing in $4 million from the RGA in the last five years, making it the top contributor to his reelection efforts:

The organization’s donations came as Perry helped infuse the governors’ group with millions of dollars from some of his major political patrons. Out of the $217 million the RGA raised between January 2006 and June 2011, $68.7 million came from 139 donors who have also given to Perry, according to a new report being released Tuesday morning by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice.

Nearly a third of those contributors were wealthy Texans who form the backbone of Perry’s finance operation — many of whom were not active donors to the RGA until 2006, when the Texas governor took on a bigger role at the organization.

Perry’s rise in the group fueled not just new contributions from the RGA, the Times reports, but a new set of wealthy Texan donors for the RGA:

Once Perry became involved with the RGA, Texas donations to the group rose from an average of 5% of the RGA’s total funds between 2003 and 2005 to nearly a 15% average in the past six years. In that time, Perry’s state donors gave the RGA $24.3 million, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics that was analyzed by Texans for Public Justice.

Read the full report from Texans for Public Justice below:

We caught up with Texas Gov. Rick Perry this morning in Tampa and asked a few questions about immigration, the controversy over the HPV vaccine and the crowd members who cheered at the idea of letting someone die in a coma. He also gave a shout-out to his buddy, Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Perry's comments on the HPV vaccine came after Michele Bachmann this morning told a radio show that a woman came up to her after the debate and said her child was made retarded by the Gardasil shot. Perry dismissed that as a side-effect of the vaccine… 

On The Records: Perry Understated Merck Money

During the CNN/Tea Party debate Monday night, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota seized the opportunity to point out the connection between Gov. Rick Perry and the drug company Merck, which makes Gardasil, the vaccine that Perry's 2007 executive order would have mandated for Texas pre-teen girls.

Turns out estimates during the debate of how much Perry took from Merck were on the low side…

Michele Bachmann Reveals That She Is Not A Doctor, Scientist

In a radio interview today, Michele Bachmann was pressed ever so slightly by Sean Hannity about an anecdote she keeps re-telling that suggests Gardasil, an HPV vaccine that Rick Perry tried to make mandatory for Texan preteens, can cause mental retardation."

Merck Rejects Bachmann Vaccine Claims

Merck has rejected claims made by Michele Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate, who said that the US drug company’s HPV vaccine could cause “mental retardation”.

The remarks came as Ms Bachmann was levelling criticism at rival Rick Perry, the Texas governor she is running against for the Republican nomination, who once used an executive order to mandate HPV vaccination of girls in his state.

“We are confident in the safety profile of Gardasil,” said Pam Eisele, a Merck spokeswoman. “Leading health organizations throughout the world have reviewed all the safety information available and continue to recommend its use.”

Gardasil was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006 as a vaccine for human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that is the primary cause of cervical cancer. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, Gardasil has been used around the world for several years and is “very safe”.

Merck said that known side-effects for the drug include pain, swelling, itching, bruising and redness at the injection site and occasional fainting. According to Ms Eisele, the side effect claimed by Ms Bachmann has never been reported to Merck.

Criticism of Mr. Perry’s handling of the HPV vaccine has taken centre stage in the Republican race for the presidency. In two interviews after the Monday night’s debate, Ms Bachmann said she was approached by a crying woman who said her daughter was given the vaccine and suffered mental retardation as a result.

“There are very dangerous consequences,” she said on Fox News.
In a separate interview she accused Mr Perry of making the controversial decision to mandate the vaccine through an executive order because his former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck.

Mr Perry on Tuesday pushed back against Ms Bachmann’s assertions, drawing similarities between her claims about the vaccine and suggestions – now proved false – that some childhood vaccines caused autism. Mr Perry has said that while he regrets pushing the measure through an executive order instead of seeking approval from the Texas legislature, he had good intentions to protect women from cervical cancer.

Virginia and the District of Columbia require HPV vaccinations in schools and legislation is pending in California.

Annual sales of Gardasil fell by nearly 30 per cent from 2008 to 2010, amid claims of painful side-effects and criticism from social conservatives who argued it was encouraging premarital sex.

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "These 'Tea Party' people profess to be representatives of average Americans, despite being a complete creation of the 0.1% wealthy elite. They claim government is too big, even as many of them hail from states (think Texas) that would utterly collapse without federal funding. They bring guns to public rallies. They like Medicare, until they are reminded that Medicare is a government program. And they are 'Christians,' members of the faithful, who enjoy executions and who think uninsured people should be left to die." Read the Article

Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
- Matthew 25:40 (King James)

Trying to figure out what this whole "Tea Party" phenomenon is all about is a lot like trying to peer into the bottom of a muddy pool. The "mainstream" news media has accepted them as a legitimate, powerful force in American politics, as evidenced by CNN's so-called "Tea Party Debate" for the Republican presidential candidates on Monday night. A group that did not exist three years ago suddenly has enough clout to rate a television banner and a chunk of prime-time coverage.

But who are these people, really?

Clearly, they are made up of what used to be quaintly called the "GOP base." In large part, they are the people who voted for George W. Bush twice, and would have happily pulled the lever for him a third time had he been on the ballot in 2008. They struggled mightily with John McCain's nomination in 2008, thanks to McCain's occasional political heresies against Mr. Bush, and their reticence to get behind McCain is a sizeable part of the explanation for why his campaign chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. No matter how galactically absurd the decision to tap Palin turned out to be, it was a calculated gamble because GOP base voters - now reborn as "Tea Party" voters - absolutely adore her. McCain needed those votes, and chose to roll the dice.

Ergo, these people have real muscle, at least within the party. Few voting blocs are as reliable as the GOP base, and they always turn out en masse for presidential primaries and caucuses. Thus, they are coddled and catered to, even by candidates who don't necessarily share their orthodoxy on far-right conservative issues.

After the 2008 election, that GOP base was transmogrified into the "Tea Party," thanks in large part to massive financial assistance from people like the Koch brothers, who have been using their vast financial resources to undercut the Obama administration and congressional Democrats at every opportunity.

Their money helped to organize "Tea Party" rallies, as well as the much-documented bedlam that broke loose at a variety of health care town halls around the country. The "mainstream" news media fell in love with the spectacle, and all of a sudden, this new thing became all the rage (pardon the pun) on the nightly broadcasts.

There's more than a bit of sad irony in this. "Tea Party" people like to think of themselves as a grassroots "movement" born of, so they believe, a national sense of horror at the fact that Barack Obama is president. They peddled the farcical idea that Mr. Obama's birth certificate didn't exist, that he is a secret socialist fascist communist Muslim Islamist terrorist mole...but in the main, they are nothing more than useful idiots following the beat of drummers who couldn't care less about them at the end of the day.

And yes, "idiots" is the proper word. We've seen it often enough by now: the astonishingly poor spelling on protest signs carried by pear-shaped blivets wearing ill-fitting camouflage gear while packing rifles and pistols to public rallies, best personified by the brain donor who proudly held up a placard reading, "Keep Your Damned Government Hands Off My Medicare." It's like a zen koan. The dizzying stupidity represented therein literally stops the mind.

Whatever else these "Tea Party" people are, they are most definitely White Christians, with a strong strain of the evangelical, due in large part to the GOP-base DNA most of them share.

And that's where things get really interesting.

During the GOP debate last week, Rick Perry burnished his law-and-order credentials by bragging about the 234 executions - at least one of which took the life of an innocent man - he has presided over while governor of Texas. The GOP crowd at the debate went absolutely wild, cheering and hooting their approval of the taking of so much life.

On Monday night, candidate Ron Paul was given a hypothetical about providing health care to a dying man who lacked health insurance. Wolf Blitzer, who moderated the debate, asked Paul, "Are you saying society should just let him die?" Before Paul could cobble together an answer, the "Tea Party" audience again erupted, this time yelling "Yes!" in answer to Blitzer's question.


These "Tea Party" people profess to be representatives of average Americans, despite being a complete creation of the 0.1% wealthy elite. They claim government is too big, even as many of them hail from states (think Texas) that would utterly collapse without federal funding. They bring guns to public rallies. They like Medicare, until they are reminded that Medicare is a government program.

And they are Christians, members of the faithful, who enjoy executions and who think uninsured people should be left to die.

Correction: they are "Christians," because it is impossible to build any kind of bridge between the teachings of Jesus and the beliefs these people espouse at the top of their lungs.

They are not Christians, but are in fact a death-worshipping cult. The best response to the vile display broadcast by CNN on Monday night was provided by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who has had more than a few go-rounds with this particular breed of cat. "What you saw tonight," said Grayson, "is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It's sadism, pure and simple. It's the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading - bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about - 'the war of all against all.'"

Thanks to the "mainstream" news media, to ardent yet covert supporters like the Koch brothers, and to the sweaty intensity of their own deranged ideals, these "Tea Party" people have emerged as a true force in American politics. What we saw last week, and on Monday night, is a glimpse of what the world would be like if these people achieve the supremacy they seek.


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Teresa Allen | Injury Board Member

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AB 499 (Atkins): Improving Minor Access to Preventive Care

Under state law, minors are able to  consent to a range of confidential medical services. While physicians encourage patients to involve parents, the Legislature has recognized, by  enacting  minor consent laws, that involvement is not always practical and  what is paramount is that teens receive timely, necessary medical care. However, there is a gap in the law relative to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Whereas minors can consent to prevention or treatment of pregnancy, for example, existing law only specifies the ability to consent to diagnosis and treatment of STDs

(Family Code § 6926). This omission creates a barrier to time-critical preventive services. At the time the law was passed, the preventive options we have today were not in existence.


We now have a variety of prevention services available for sexually transmitted diseases. Examples include the hepatitis B vaccines, prophylactic post-exposure HIV medications (which must be given within  72  hours of exposure) and  HPV vaccines which, if given  before exposure, can  significantly reduce the risk of genital warts, abnormal, precancerous cervical cell changes, and certain cancers. In all of these examples, intervention is time-sensitive; there are long-term health implications because the STDs can be life-long  and are currently treatable but not curable; and  there is a risk  that an individual will not obtain services if he or she is required to obtain parental consent.

The incidence for new HIV infections is increasing among  certain teen  populations, notably  among youth  of minority  races/ethnicities.

Prophylactic pre- and  post-exposure HIV medications can dramatically  reduce the risk of infection. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, the prevalence of which has also made cervical cancer the world’s second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. The ability to offer preventive STD services is particularly important given that young people experience high rates of sexual assault. One in six women and one in thirty-three men  report sexual assault in their lifetime with the highest rate for those twenty-five years old or below. Teens are particularly at-risk.


All states allow minors to  consent for diagnosis and treatment of STDs. However, some states now also cover STD prevention including Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia. As these other states have done, this bill seeks to  update California law to reflect recent medical advances so  that youth  can access needed, time-critical STD prevention services.

AB 499  (Atkins) amends Family  Code §  6926 to allow minors (age 12+) to  consent to medical care related to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

CONTACT: Cody Naylor, Office of Asm. Toni Atkins | | 916 319 2076