New controversy surrounds vaccine.
HPV is the virus that just keeps giving. A new study actually links the human papillomavirus to lung cancer. But this news hasn't impressed conservative groups who dub the HPV vaccine the "promiscuity vaccine."
Never mind that human papillomavirus is linked to cervical cancer along with vulva, vaginal, penile and anal cancer.
Never mind that an estimated one in four teenage girls is infected with the virus.
Since Merck's Gardasil hit the market in 2006, opponents have insisted that giving the vaccine to teens is tantamount to giving teens a "license to have sex."
Momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara disagrees, for three reasons:
1. The vaccine starts doctor/teen conversations. "My experience with the HPV vaccine is that it has given pediatricians an opportunity to open up the discussion of sex, STDs, and pregnancy with younger patients," she says.
2. The vaccine starts teen/parent conversations. "Because I need to speak with both parents and teens about shots, the HPV vaccine was often a conversation starter. In my own practice, it only enhanced my ability to talk with kids about the physical and emotional dangers of having sex at too young an age.
3. The vaccine helps teens understand the seriousness of having sex. "It lends gravity to the discussion of STDs--because there is a shot out there to prevent one (and because most girls get the shot, and it kind of hurts), teens understand that these STDs are not just theoretical diseases that cannot affect them."
Would you/will you give your teen the HPV vaccine?