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The Great HPV Vaccine Debate Puts Pressure on Parents of Teen

Dorathy Gass

Think back to when you were a teenager and the concerns your parents may have had about you eventually mingling with the opposite sex. Now factor in that is 2015, and kids are becoming sexually active much earlier in life. There is a vaccine that can be administered to teenagers that can prevent the human papillomavirus which is growing in cases month by month. HPV is categorized with over 100 other viruses, all of which fall under the HPV spectrum. Some can be so severe that those effected with it can develop cancer. These viruses can be found in men and women, and the vaccine helps to prevent the most common variations of HPV.

How can you obtain HPV? Through skin on skin contact with someone that is carrying the virus. Trouble is, like most sexually transmitted diseases, most people don’t even know they have it. Especially so for teenagers that still aren’t aware of their own bodies and can understand the symptoms related to HPV to have it checked out by a physician. The scary part is that many patients with HPV don’t even develop symptoms of the virus until years after they have been infected with the virus.

One would imagine with the success of the HPV vaccine “Gardasil” parents would be lining up at their pediatrician’s office to get it for their teenager; but as the Globe and Mail reported, the vaccine still has mixed reviews. Some parents just stay on track with whatever vaccination schedule their doctors recommend for their kids, and others need to do their research before injecting anything into their children. The issue with the HPV shot is that many parents feel the vaccine is allowing for a free to pass to explore their teen peers sexually and not be worried about STD’s. Certainly, a vaccine cannot prevent your child from contracting things so severe as AIDS, nor does it encourage sexual activity, but to each their own. Some parents simply don’t tell their children what the vaccine is for, then they don’t even know they are protected and the sex chatter is nonexistent. How each family handles the birds and the bees is totally up the parents, but always look into each vaccine to at least become familiar with the possible side effects that can come in the future and weigh the pros and cons.

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