Prudery and Illness Prevention

It’s a shame when prudery interferes will illness prevention.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an infection that can cause genital warts – which aren’t a lot of fun. But more sinister is it’s ability to cause certain cancers – cervical cancer in women in particular.

There is now a vaccine to guard against it – marketed as Cervarix or, better known, Gardasil. This has been shown to reduce HPV infections by a “stunning” 64% in teenage girls according to the CDC.

The problem is it has to be given before first exposure to be effective, so that means vaccinating tweens. And parents don’t like to think of their little dears having sex - so only 40% of girls between 13 and 17 get vaccinated – reputedly “for fear it will encourage children to be promiscuous.”

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