During the Republican Presidential Debate that occurred last week, sexual health was brought up. Rick Perry’s mandate of Human Papillomavirus vaccines requires girls at the age of 11 or 12 to receive the shots to prevent HPV. The idea of the vaccine is to prevent cervical cancer in later years.
When the topic was brought up to Michele Bachmann, she responded that innocent little girls should not be legally required to get the shot, a shot that would prevent a deadly cancer. Bachmann also believes that the shot could cause mental retardation. The Center for Disease Control has no reports of this being a risk of the shot.
A big argument against the requirement of the vaccine is that it might give young girls permission and a reason to engage in sexual activity. This is a ridiculous argument. A vaccine that prevents cancer does not clear all dangers of sex. To aid, girls should be informed while getting the shot that there are many, many other risks besides HPV. This argument also calls on the idea of purity of young women. It also seems to me that it is assumed girls would not make the choice of abstaining from sex if given the choice.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, and it causes most cervical cancers, as well as other types. I know I covered HPV last year, but it is such an enormous concern, especially with false information being spread around, that I thought it deserved to be discussed again. HPV can be spread through sexual intercourse, anal sex, oral sex and also simple genital-to-genital contact.
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