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Marketing of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines is a scientific success for the biomedical research community and industry. Yet, exciting as it rightly is to scientists, technological progress does not guarantee public health impact, as anyone who cares for the public good knows. Trials of HPV vaccines, for instance, have had a limited duration with respect to the lifetime risk (and, hence, prevention) of cervical cancer; this is one reason why the long-term, true effectiveness of HPV vaccines to substantially decrease the population burden of cervical cancer and related pathologies is still unproven, even in countries with a high burden. In many societies worldwide, HPV infection is almost always benign, slow, naturally reversible and can be properly controlled with non-aggressive measures that …
Competing interests: None declared.