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Data Published in The Lancet Show Gardasil was 100 Percent,Effective in Preventing High-Grade Vulvar and Vaginal Lesions,Caused by HPV Types 16 and 18

re currently under review with regulatory agencies in many more countries around the world. Merck will donate free vaccine to the non-profit organization PATH to support demonstration studies designed to accelerate the availability of cervical cancer vaccines in the most impoverished nations. PATH is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Merck is also working with India's Council of Medical Research to study GARDASIL in India. Merck will make its new vaccines, including GARDASIL, available to developing world countries at dramatically lower prices.

HPV is a common infection

In the United States, approximately 20 million people are infected with HPV, and approximately 80 percent of females will have acquired HPV by age 50. For most people, HPV goes away on its own; however in some, certain high-risk types of HPV, if unrecognized and untreated, can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide, resulting in nearly a half-million diagnoses and 240,000 deaths each year. It is estimated that in 2007, there will be approximately 11,150 new cases of cervical cancer and 3,700 deaths in the United States. Approximately 6,000 cases of vulvar or vaginal cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S.

It is estimated that in 2007, vulvar and vaginal cancer will strike more than 5,600 women in the U.S. Vulvar and vaginal cancers, specifically those related to HPV infection, are becoming more common in young women. The incidence of vulvar cancers increased more than 400 percent between 1973 and 2000, and invasive vulvar cancer increased 20 percent during the same time period.

Certain low-risk types of HPV cause genital warts and can lead to abnormal Pap results. Approximately one million cases of genital warts occur each year in the United States and an estimated 32 million cases occur worldwide. Additionally, there are an estimated 4.7 million abnormal Pap results that r
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