September 3, 2013

Why All Boys & Girls Should Be Vaccinated for HPV.

Why you should consider vaccinating your children for HPV

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that spreads through sexual contact, and because of this, controversy surrounds the HPV vaccinations.

Because God forbid that anyone’s child have sex—that never happens.

Okay, let’s take virginity off the table for a moment, if only to look at a few startling facts and statistics about HPV and the vaccines that could prevent its spread.

There are about 40 different types of HPV.

Some are directly linked to causing cervical cancer as well as other forms of cancers like head and neck, while other types of HPV cause genital warts in both males and females.

“High-risk HPV accounts for approximately 5 percent of all cancers worldwide,” and most “high-risk HPVs occur without any symptoms.”

Additionally, “high-risk HPVs cause virtually all cervical cancers—and with a three-dose vaccine the most common types of HPV can be completely prevented.  

Yet, even though HPV could join the ranks of other deadly or life-altering viruses that have been largely or entirely wiped out by the vaccination process, some parents are still hesitant to address this issue with their kids.

And contrary to popular belief, HPV doesn’t just affect your sexually-active girls either.

Both straight and gay men can transmit and contract HPV and genital infection isn’t limited to just the penis, but also to the rectum and scrotum.

Essentially, no matter who you’re having sex with, you need to be protected because you’re at risk—and why worry if our kids are virgins, gay or straight? It becomes a non-issue when we vaccinate all children.

Perhaps the biggest consideration that has been brought up as a potential reason why some parents choose not to vaccinate is this vaccine’s cost—which, if we’re being honest, is a very real concern.

Some—but not all—insurance companies will cover the fairly expensive cost (each dose can run up to $170). However, there are programs to help those without insurance at little to no cost. (Check out this Planned Parenthood link.) 

At the same time, though, if cost is a genuine concern for you then you may want to weigh in how expensive radiation treatments for cancer are.

And although I can fully understand how basically no one wants to imagine their kids having sex, it’s part of real life and part of parenting.

You can talk to your children about abstinence, but that doesn’t mean that they will choose it.

So why wouldn’t parents want to vaccinate their children?

If you’re looking for an article, or an author, that will argue with you about the general controversy surrounding whether or not to vaccinate your children for anything, you’ll be disappointed.

This article isn’t about that because, quite frankly, it’s an article-worthy subject all by itself—and it’s not my main concern.

The reality is that most of us do vaccinate our kids

My daughter will never have to go through the itchy, summer-destroying, stuck-in-the-house-while-every-one-else-plays-and-swims-outside chicken pox—and why shouldn’t HPV also be something that she doesn’t have to worry about?

The entire reason that I wrote this and am bringing this to your attention is simply to get this conversation started.

Let’s put vaccinating all boys and girls for HPV on the table, and make it something that’s brought up with your pediatrician and your child’s school.

Let’s not single out children, expecting them to be virgins or heterosexual. Instead, let’s make this less of a problem for all of them by encouraging it for everyone.

There are two HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Ceravix. (Read more about them and their differences and usages here.)

So remember to ask your child’s physician during his or her next check-up to provide you with any other, more specific information that you might have questions or concerns about.

With a new school year beginning, vaccinations are something that most parents are dealing with anyways, and all children ages 11 and 12 are considered prime candidates for the HPV vaccine.

For more information check out the links within this article or talk with your doctor.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise



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OculusPhi Sep 4, 2013 11:00am

Jennifer, I understand why you believe what you do, however your comment about people "bringing up deaths" seems very flippant. If you think that this law from 1986 that "requires health providers" to report problems means that it truly is being reported is accurate, this is a mistake. I have seen complications from vaccines first hand, where health providers outright refused to acknowledge the vaccine as the culprit to physical reactions. More than once. If you have spent even a small amount of time researching the deaths and debilitation that this HPV vaccine has caused, you'd know that many young, vibrant, healthy girls have lost either their lives or quality of life. The articles/ videos are often supported by foundations or memorials which have been set up. This is a dangerous line to be dancing on, especially when you are making a decision for another human being. Not only that, but Merck and Glaxo-Cline have been busted for falsifying reports regarding the effectiveness of their vaccines. I feel for any parent who has brought harm to their own children while believing they are protecting them. Ultimate sadness.

Helen Sep 4, 2013 9:12am

My daughter was immunized. It's offered to all school age children at 13 free of charge in the UK. I weighed up the risks and decided that she should have it. I have no problem with others making the opposite decision based on the facts. I have the added advantage of a scientist husband who extensively researched it first. But it's still just our personal decision for our family. It's good to open up the debate.

Concerned mom Sep 4, 2013 6:48am

I vaccinate my daughter with what she "needs" to attend school. However, there is no way in hell I will ever allow her to get this vaccine. The research I have read and the people I have spoken to have lead me to this decision. It is a dangerous vaccine that has not been thoroughly researched. To me, it's just another way for big pharma to profit at the expense of the health of the people. Too many people have had negative side effects. Perhaps when the vaccine has been improved upon with more research and time invested, I would change my mind. As it stands now, my response will always be a resounding NO. I respect everyone's opinion but I'll be darned if someone is going to force me ever to vaccine my daughter with this poison. End of story.

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Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She’s also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.