Last year, I hit the OBGYN for my annual check-up and she suggested that I get a Gardasil shot to ward off the human papilloma virus or H.P.V. Iâ€™m sure that most people have seen Gardasilâ€™s â€œ1 Lessâ€ commercials with determined-looking women prancing around in pink t-shirts but, advertising aside, I thought the vaccine was a good idea, even if it did come in three really painful doses.
H.P.V. is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. H.P.V. is primarily spread via skin-to-skin contact during sexual intercourse and very rarely an infected mother can infect her child while giving birth.
As we women get older, our chance of contracting or developing diseases increases, so itâ€™s nice to be proactive outside of maintaining a healthy diet (for the most part), and exercising (for the most part. hey ladies, Iâ€™m being honest)
Currently, Gardasil is only available for women between the ages of 9-26. However, the American FDA will decide this summer if the follow-up vaccination for women ages 27-45 will be approved.
However, since this is a sexual health vaccine made for 9 year-olds, everyone isnâ€™t on board.
In 2007, when two Florida senators attempted to pass a bill instructing the stateâ€™s middle schools to routinely inoculate their students starting fall 2008, parents up-roared. While Merck & Co., Gardasilâ€™s maker, stands to make large sums of money if the drug is distributed statewide, parents worried about the message a mandatory vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease sent to 11 and 12 year-olds. Families can opt out of the vaccine but Iâ€™m not sure about their position.
Do we as adults in 2008 still believe that teens and pre-teens aren’t having sex? Is not offering the H.P.V. vaccine the equivalent to not passing out condoms in high school and middle school because we donâ€™t want the kids to have sex, even though theyâ€™re already getting busy?
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