Girls are not being vaccinated for HPV

A few years ago, a vaccine against HPV came out that prevented cervical cancer. PREVENTED!! The thing is, girls had to be vaccinated before they began having sex-which meant 11-12 years of age. Parents went apocalyptic-screaming that getting the vaccine would be a license for young girls to have sex. So, most parents did not get their kids vaccinated. There was no change in the vaccination rate between 2011 and 2012! America is last in teens vaccinated for HPV! It turns out that many docs neglect to mention that vaccine to parents.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S., with an estimated 6.2 million new infections each year.

Low and behold, it turns out that girls and young women who are vaccinated against HPV appear to be no more likely than those who are not vaccinated to engage in sexually risky behaviors, a CDC survey finds. Honestly. what did you expect?

What gets me is that parents would rather their daughters get cervical cancer (or dysplasia) in their 20s than have a vaccine because they could not be bothered educating their kids about safe and responsible sex.

Now it turns out that boys need to be vaccinated too-because, 1. girls are infected from boys and 2. HPV causes throat cancer (and sexually active adolescents have oral sex, Oh my!).

Among non-vaccinated girls and boys, infection with HPV is very common following initiation of sexual behavior. By one estimate, 24% of teenaged girls in the U.S. between the ages of 14 and 19 and 45% of women in their early to mid-20s are infected with HPV. Yikes!

For this reason, vaccination efforts target girls who are not yet sexually active. Current recommendations call for vaccination of girls and women ages 11-26 with the Cervarix or Gardasil vaccine. The Gardasil vaccine is also approved for use in boys.

In an effort to examine vaccine coverage rates and whether being vaccinated against HPV has any impact on behavior, a survey  was undertaken from more than 1,200 young women between the ages of 15 and 24.

The young women were surveyed between 2007 and 2008, after the first HPV vaccine became available.

Twice as many teens as women in their early 20s reported initiating the three-dose HPV vaccine series (30% vs. 15%).

Among sexually active women, those who had initiated HPV vaccination were more likely than unvaccinated women to report that they consistently used a condum during sex.

Parents, it’s up to you to keep your children safe! Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women. By denying them this vaccine you’re risking their lives.

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