So here is the deal:

GARDASIL is the new vaccine, which is creating a lot of buzz these days and for all the wrong reasons.

So let’s recap some facts first:

∑ For it to be effective you must not have contracted certain strains of HPV
∑ GARDASIL is for girls and women ages 9 to 26.
∑ Cervical Cancer kills 10 women a day in the US
∑ One in four women ages 14 to 59 is infected with HPV
∑ GARDASIL protects against the strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancers
∑ GARDASIL was approved by the FDA in 2006
∑ The three dose treatment cost $360

Now, many members of the conservative right in this country are lobbying States hard to not appropriate funds for vaccinating girls or arguing that States should not make vaccination mandatory. This is a vaccine, which can prevent cancer. Let me say that again, this is a vaccine that can prevent cancer, a cancer that kills 10 women in the US a day.

Now the agreement is that if this vaccine, which prevents a cancer that is caused by a sexually transmitted disease, is available to young girls, it will encourage promiscuity and premarital sex. While that is an issue that can be debated, the reality is that these girls and women will at some point, become sexually actively. Some will choose to wait until they are married. Some will not. Some will find a partner who likewise has waited to be sexually active and some will not. Some will find a partner, who decided not to remain faithful or who leaves. A life of choices lays ahead of these young women. No one can predict these women’s futures. However, GARDASIL offers an opportunity to protect their health, potentially for a lifetime, no matter their choices. It is up to parents and other influence people in these young girls lives to shape their choices, but as a society we have an obligation to safe guard their health potentially for a lifetime.

We are talking about preventing a cancer that kills, possibly limits fertility or a woman’s ability to carry a child to term. Is it really worth those risks, when this vaccine could prevent all of this?

“It’s really a shame that politics and ideology are getting in the way of saving lives.” said Cantu Hinojosa.

STD shot stuck in center of culture war, AP News, via MSNBC.com

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