Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination: Two Schools of Thought


Doctor’s objective is to deliver protection before or not long after their ‘‘sexual debut’’ to the expected 40% of girls that would become infected with HPV within two years of becoming sexually active.

HPV vaccination rates is a complicated issue. Who should take it? Is it safe? What is its long-term efficacy? These are some of the questions lingering in doctors and patients minds, as new research continues to develop.  The age range of HPV vaccination is from 9-26, based on the current vaccines out now. There are two schools of thoughts about HPV virus vaccinations that kept popping up while doing research for my infectious disease beat article:

1.) One side says that vaccinations are appropriate and the earlier in age the vaccine is given, the better it is.

If taking these vaccines at a younger age can curb HPV infection now and in the future, than why not ?  HPV infections cause cervical cancer, genital warts and cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus and throat. If you had access to a safe vaccine to save your life , prevent you from being infected with an infectious diseases and the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle, wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

According to a new study in 2012, doctors found more than a half girls 13 and older already have the HPV infection.  They tested 259 young women aged 13 -21 for HPV during clinic visits for their first vaccines doses at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  Among 190 who were sexually active, 70 percent were already infected. For some reason, this didn’t shock me because more adolescents are having sex carelessly at a younger age.  Young people may know about the basic STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and herpes. But HPV is different from other sexually transmitted infections because it is transmitted more easily. Not only can it be transmitted through sexual intercourse, it can also be transmitted through genital skin-skin touching, according to a CDC study.

2.) The opposing side says that there is an implication of encouraging sex, especially in girls and with the low-end of the age being 9. Parents and some researchers believe that  HPV-vaccinations have a negative impact on their daughters’ sexual behavior and promotes premarital sex. They also believe that it’s a potential contradiction to the abstinence only programs in many states.

I couldn’t disagree with this side more. How is taking a vaccination to help prevent you from infection affect your decision to become sexually active? That’s a personal decision that comes with layers of influence from your cognitive development, family, friends, the media and society. According Mount Sinai HPV team research Opinions in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, this hypothesis is unsupported by scientific data and insulting to young people. This hypothesis is definitely narrow-minded and naive. I feel like the sooner you take the vaccine the better. I also believe that doctors should do a better job at promoting the vaccine to decrease the number of deaths from HPV-cancer related infections and save lives.

Questions Raise Over Who Cuomo’s Proposed Budget Cuts Will Hurt In The Nonprofit Sector

Members of the state agency Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) are up in arms, showing great concern for the future of their nonprofit, following Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to cut 6% of state funding for their organization. 


OPWDD regulates more than 700 nonprofit providers, and fears that these across the board budget cuts will lead to a decrease in service efficiency as well as layoffs for a bulk of New York’s over half a million nonprofit employees. 


Criticism of the cuts were vocalized during a demonstration at the College of Staten Island on Feb 25th when an estimated 250 protesters met Cuomo on the campus as he put forth a speech with claims that these cuts will provide a beneficial affect on the quality of life of people with disabilities in New York, through healthcare and safety.


 Roughy 40 of the protesters were staff, volunteers and program participants, all concerned for the looming budget cuts to come.


However, with Cuomo’s recent push to limit the amount of revenue nonprofit officers and directors make, one must be skeptical who’s pockets will be struck by the proposed cuts.


Cuomo put forth in January, a proposed measure which would limit the amount higher up’s in nonprofits can take home to under $200,000.


One nonprofit under the wing of OPWDD is AHRC, which was created to assist people living with developmental disabilities. 



Although, the majority of paid heads of the organization raked in between $130,000-170,000 Fernando C. Carnavali, the groups Medical Director earned $281,348 in 2011. 


That being said, perhaps if these cuts came out of the already bulging paychecks of nonprofit officials, the effectiveness of these programs may not be hindered.

The Inspired Word Has Announced A Poetry Slam With $1000 In Total Prize Money


Mike Geffner Presents The Inspired WordThe Inspired Word has just announced a poetry slam in which contestants will be able to win $1000 in total prize money.

Personally, I find this very interesting because I don’t think there are many groups (at least that I’m not aware of) that actually get together throughout different venues in the city for the sake of poetry. Our city has many occupants with stories to tell and the Inspired Word has cultivated an environment in which it’s participants are allowed to voice themselves through spoken word.

I have actually attended one of their gatherings and was even inspired to try to pen down some of my thoughts and emotions, but I quickly realized I wasn’t a poet and wasn’t on the same tier as the numerous performers I saw that night.
The Inspired Word was founded by former journalist and Village Voice columnist Mike Geffner in 2009. The movement aims to celebrate performance while inspiring others to open up during the process.

I recommend everyone to stop by one of their shows. For more information regarding the competition please feel free to click here.

Also, check out the highlights form last year’s competition below.


Women Workers Need More

A bill to pay workers for their sick leave is on hold by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who wants to become the first female mayor of New York.

The bill is receiving great support from women because it allows mothers to take days off for their children without the anxiety of losing their job. If they have a sick child or taking the day off for personal or vocational reasons, it would be considered a sick day and they would receive pay without running the risk of losing their job.

Gloria Steinem, political activist and feminist, is willing to take back any endorsements she has for Quinn if the bill is not permitted for a vote. According to the NY Times, Steinem said “Making life fairer for all women seems more important than breaking a barrier for one woman”.

According to the NY Daily News, over a dozen women elected officials will gather at City Hall on Monday to command Quinn to allow a vote on the bill. This bill will require employers to pay their workers sick leave. Quinn is against the bill because it may hinder the economy and businesses.

If Quinn does not take this bill off hold, she will lose a lot of women supporters who can give her the title as the first woman mayor. Women like to support each other if they share the same ideas and will motivate each other when need be. Over hundreds of women are for this bill and with popular feminist activists such as Gloria Steinem standing beside them, Quinn may not have a big chance of stepping up as mayor.



“Death to All” Tour Returns in 2013

ImageThe “Death to All” tour has become an annual event and has announced tour dates for 2013.

Former Death manager Eric Grief announced on January 19 that the tour would be returning by posting a flyer for the tour via the bands official Facebook page.  The “Death to All tour” features former members of the band Death uniting once again with some special guests to pay tribute to Chuck Schuldiner, the bands founder, guitarist and lead vocals who died of a brain tumor in 2001.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a charity that helps career musicians with age or health related issues.

The 2012 inaugural incarnation of “Death to All” featured former members Gene Hoglan and Sean Reinert on drums, Scott Clendenin and Steve Digiorgio on bass, while Shannon Hamm, Paul Masvidal and Bobby Koelble shared guitar duties.

Special guests included Danny Walker from the bands Intronaut and Bereft on bass with Charles Elliot of Abyssmal Dawn and Bereft Matt Harvey from Exhumed on vocals. The bands Atheist and Gorguts rotated opening slots throughout the tour.

This year’s lineup of musicians for the first leg of the tour include the surviving members of Death’s album “Human”  (Steve Digiorgio, Sean Reinert, and Paul Misvidal) along with Max Phelps from the bands Cynic and Exist on vocals.

The tour Dates are as follows:

April 13 – West Hollywood, CA – House Of Blues

April 15 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre

April 18 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall

April 19 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues

April 20 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s

April 21 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues

April 23 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda

April 24 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza

April 25 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater Of Living Arts

April 26 – Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore

April 27 – Worcester, MA – Palladium

April 28 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre

April 29 – Mexico City, MEX – Circo Volador

Nature Publishing Group buys into open access publisher

The article “Nature Publishing Groups buys into open access publisher” states that one of the most fastest growing publishers ‘Frontiers” has been overtaked by open access. Open Access  is the practice of providing unrestricted access via the internet to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles. “Frontiers” was co-founded in 2007 by the former CEO Kamila Markram. Within the last year, ‘Frontiers’ has published 5,000 articles, in 14 journals. The article also states that Academic editors can commission special topics around particular subjects.

Elmhurst Hospital Pediatric Gets Help From Kids And Clowns

On February 20, Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) and P.S. 19 Marino Jeantet school in Queens partnered together for a fundraising event named “Helping Kids Heal.” Twelve clowns, who are participants in this year’s New York Clown Alley East- West Tour, performed two one-hour back to back shows in the school’s auditorium to entertain school children in grades K through 5.

The children from the school attended the event for free thanks to the generosity of the community and local businesses. Helping Kids Heal raised over $2,500, with proceeds from event sponsorship donated to the Elmhurst Hospital Auxiliary for renovation of EHC’s pediatric treatment areas. The students of P.S. 19 also undertook fundraising in support of the hospital, raising an additional $800 for one of the busiest medical facilities. For mor information please read Kids And Clowns Raise Money For Elmhurst Hospital Pediatric  at