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Reginald Finger, M.D., M.P.H. was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an influential United States government committee linked to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). His scheduled term on the ACIP was from 04/22/03 to 6/30/06. ACIP's mandate is to advise the President on the most effective means of preventing diseases through nation-wide vaccination campaigns.
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In an interview with Michael Specter for the March 13, 2006 issue of The New Yorker, Dr. Finger stated that, should an HIV vaccine become available, ACIP would have to carefully consider its effects on sexual activity. "'We would have to look at that closely," he said. "With any vaccine for H.I.V., disinhibition would certainly be a factor, and it is something we will have to pay attention to with a great deal of care.'"
Finger has also expressed the worry that if "people begin to market the [HPV] vaccine or tout the vaccine that this makes adolescent sex safer, then that would undermine the abstinence-only message." (The Hill, December 15, 2005). He observed that "some people have raised the issue of whether this vaccine may be sending an overall message to teenagers that, 'We expect you to be sexually active,'" and that "there are people who sense that it could cause people to feel like sexual behaviors are safer if they are vaccinated and may lead to more sexual behavior because they feel safe." (Washington Post, October 31, 2005).
The Advisory Committee attracted attention in 2006, when it was reported that it might not approve an effective vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that affects more than half of all Americans at some point in their lives. The virus directly leads to cervical cancer, killer of almost 5000 American women each year. Health officials affiliated with the George W. Bush administration, as well as many conservative and Christian groups, claimed that vaccination of teenage girls against a sexually transmitted disease could encourage them to become sexually active.
Dr. Reginald Finger is a former medical adviser to the conservative political organization Focus on the Family and an evangelical Christian.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Reginald_Finger". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|