HPV Vaccines for School Aged Girls
Human Papilloma Virus is a sexually transmitted infection that is spread between men and women through sexual intercourse, genital skin-to-skin contact and oral sex with a carrier. “HPV’s are a family of more than 100 virus types that cause such problems as common warts, plantar warts, skin cancers, anal and genital warts, recurrent respiratory papilomatosis (a rare benign infection of type HPV 6 or 11 that passes from mothers to infants during childbirth), head and neck cancers, genital cancers and cervical cancer.” (Schmidt, 2007). It is essential for young women to get vaccinated before they reach puberty and become sexually active. “ Young women between 15 and 24 years of age account for half of the infections.” (Schmidt, 2007) It should be mandatory for school-aged girls to receive one of the two vaccines available before they reach puberty, to protect them from infections before they start being sexually active. School aged girls from 6 – 12 years of age are reaching puberty and are merely uneducated about the risks of having sex. Getting the vaccine before they reach puberty would prevent them from becoming infected during their first sexual experiences. Contracting HPV can cause infections but also lead to cervical cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in women. “ HPV infection causes virtually all cervical cancers and is also associated with cancers of the anus, oropharynx, penis, vagina, and vulva.” (Shearer, 2011). Girls at this stage of adolescents often have tendencies to explore their sexual identity. Thus, if young girls have sex before they are vaccinated, they are at risk for getting infections and potentially developing cervical cancer. The vaccines available can protect them from getting infections, but will not have no affect on current transmitted infections. “HPV vaccine has no therapeutic effect for HPV infections” (Schmidt, 2007). Clinical studies have proven both vaccines, Gardasil and...
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