New Data, same excuses

It was a bit more than a year ago that I was thrilled to see the release of a vaccine for HPV since this is the leading cause of cervical cancer, though I was completely dumbfounded by the controversy that it stirred up. Now in all fairness there were some excellent points brought up, such as this from Mr. Big Dubya over at Dadcentric, and I can certainly understand people feeling leery these days about drug companies and their rushing products to market. What I don’t get, is the religious nuts that try to claim that having a girl vaccinated is tantamount to giving her the green light for sex.

Now, I guess I was stupidly hoping that when I saw this report that stated 1 in 4 teens have a sexually transmitted disease, that perhaps people would wake up and realize that “Just Say No” didn’t cut it for Nancy Reagan and the war on drugs, and it isn’t working for this either. I was hoping, but of course I should have known better. I should know that there are clowns out there like Wendy Wright over at “Concerned Women for America” (no I am not linking to the hypocritical group of activist women, that somehow believe women don’t belong doing the things that they are doing… like being activists maybe). Anyway, apparently Ms. Wright (I can’t even type that without laughing) decided that the reason for this is because there are actually some programs out there that don’t strictly teach abstinence. Good Gravy, when are these people going to get a clue.

I guess the “concerned women” couldn’t be bothered reading things in the story like:

Blame is most often placed on inadequate sex education, from parents and from schools focusing too much on abstinence-only programs.

or maybe

“This is pretty shocking,” said Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in New York.

“To talk about abstinence is not a bad thing,” but teen girls — and boys too — need to be informed about how to protect themselves if they do have sex, Alderman said.

No, I guess that wouldn’t fit their agenda.  I just can’t help but wonder, if they aren’t concerned about young women and their health, just who are the Concerned Women for America really concerned about?

Yes, I realize I have wandered a bit, but it is these types of people that continue to defend the indefensible.  Of those girls that had contracted an STD in the study, the most prevalent was HPV!

Teens were tested for four infections: human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer and affected 18 percent of girls studied; chlamydia, which affected 4 percent; trichomoniasis, 2.5 percent; and genital herpes, 2 percent.

And this is the leading cause of cervical cancer, and 18% of the girls studied are infected?  I don’t like those “odds” at all.  Certainly not enough to take a flyer on my daughter’s health.  Sure, I HOPE she will save herself for marriage, and I HOPE that the man that she marries is ALSO saving himself, so that he can not give her the virus.  But you know what?  I am sure as hell not going to take a roll of the dice with her health and tell her that “Just Say No” is all she needs to know.  I will take any steps I can, and I will educate her for the steps that I can’t take for her, to give her the best chance possible.  To me, that is the only logical conclusion, and in my not so humble opinion, this studies shows that the odds are too great to play it any other way.


  1. Personally my daughter doesn’t need to know WHY she’s getting the vaccine, other than the fact that it’s to help keep her from getting a bad disease – the same reason we vaccinate against smallpox and measles, mumps, and rubella.

    She’s old enough to read about it on her own, of course. And she likely will. But she also knows what cancer is and how it can kill. Her “Aunt Cindy” had to have a hysterectomy due to cervical and uterine cancer, and now she also has leukemia, so I’m sure she’s not going to question it.

    And yes, we do hope they save themselves for marriage, but who’s to say there isn’t another method of transmission found years or even months from now? (Things change – and they find new ways that all kinds of diseases were transmitted as time goes on. KWIM?)

  2. Perhaps if these women watched their friend die slowly, painfully and horribly – ripped away forever from her 2-year daughter who would never even remember her – they might think the shot was a good idea. I had the displeasure of doing just that four years ago. My friend’s cervical cancer took her from her family and friends and to think there is a chance of preventing the disease from taking even one more girl far outweighs anything that may or may happen down the road.

    I wish that not one person has to watch someone die from cervical cancer – because it ain’t pretty.

  3. Awesome that it’s available. I’m just a little cautious as it’s so new and there haven’t been any long-term studies on it yet. I’m feeling fortunate that my daughter is only 2 now so I have some time to watch the effects before I commit. But I still think it’s a good idea.

    Here’s what’s got me scratching my head though… Why isn’t it offered to boys? If it’s “transmitted” during sex, wouldn’t they be the umm.. transmitters? If they can care enough about a girl to sleep with her, shouldn’t they care enough to protect her from an array of horrible diseases? Imagine being a boy in love and finding out you’d just given her HPV (with cancer a possible eventuality)!!? Horrible!!!

    If it’s safe and available, both of my children would receive this vaccine, boy and girl.

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