Cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil is an Australian invention which has been successful in most countries, despite reports of some sickness (which have died away).

In the US it has become part of the political debate between the so-called moral majority and those advocating its use to protect women regardless of their sexual activity.

Now it has been approved for use in France where the government has agreed to subsidise Gardasil for teenage girls and young women. But there’s a catch –France’s national health system has ruled that eligibility for coverage depends largely upon the patient’s virginity.

The vaccine is being mandated for 14-year-old girls, regardless of their sexual practices but girls and woman aged 15 to 23 will only qualify for 65% coverage of the cost if they are virgins or lost their virginity within the past year.

The human papilloma virus blamed for causing most cases of cervical cancer is sexually-transmitted, so the vaccine provides the best protection in girls or women who have never had sex.

The virginity or sexual activity of individual patients would be determined by physicians, not the drugmaker (Sanofi) or the government. Only in France!

Is there a new growth industry in France? Chastity Tester?

Peter Fray

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