“Should states enact laws that require girls to be vaccinated against HPV?”
Gardasil, a vaccine that protects against HPV (human papillomavirus), has practically become a household word in the United States since it was approved in 2006. TV commercials featuring young girls chanting "I'm going to be one less" are quite commonplace, and now the vaccine, which protects against the four types of HPV that potentially lead to cervical cancers and genital warts, is being recommended for girls aged 11 to 26.
The development of the HPV vaccines has brought on much controversy. It protects against a sexually transmitted disease, however is being given to young girls who may not yet be sexually active. State governments are debating over whether to make the vaccine mandatory because many parents feel that it promotes pre-martial sex and immoral, promiscuous behavior. They feel that HPV, along with other STDs can be prevented through abstinence.
I personally believe that state governments should require that girls be vaccinated against HPV, even if they are not sexually active. The vaccine is most effective for girls/women who get vaccinated before their first sexual contact. It does not work as well for those who were exposed to the virus before getting the vaccine. Sexually active women benefit as well because they will be protected against other strains of the virus. I read that HPV infections are extremely common and that approximately three-quarters of U.S. women will be exposed to HPV during their lifetime. The idea is that Gardasil will cut back on new cases of cervical and uterine cancer, thus saving the lives of many women. I do not feel that administering the vaccine to young girls will promote negative behavior. Having your daughter vaccinated against HPV doesn't mean that you have to talk to your daughter about sex if you are not ready. You may want to tell your daughter that this vaccine may help prevent cancer later in...
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