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No, Gardasil Is Not A License To Have Sex

This article was written as an assignment for a college class titled "BS-415: Modern Issues in Vaccinology".

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What is cervical cancer?

kidshealth.org / Via medlineplus.gov

It's an uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix, which is the bottom part of the uterus. Babies pass through the cervix when they're being born. Cervical cancer causes pain and bleeding.

How does Gardasil protect against cervical cancer?

The European Bioinformatics Institute / Via ebi.ac.uk

The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer. Gardasil and other HPV vaccines teach your immune system to defend against the virus.

How do people become infected with HPV?

By having sex, usually.

However, there are other ways to get infected. Researchers at the University of Texas discovered that virgin women can have HPV, that trace amounts of HPV can remain on medical equipment after disinfection, and that hand-to-genital contact can spread HPV. They summarized their findings in the best-titled journal article ever: "Penises Not Required: A Systematic Review of the Potential for Human Papillomavirus Horizontal Transmission that is Non-Sexual or does not Include Penile Penetration".

Why don't your parents want you vaccinated?

Because they're prudes.

Gilmore Girls / Via giphy.com

Unfortunately, sexuality is a topic that many parents refuse to acknowledge. They do not want to believe that their children could be anything but pure of heart and body. By reducing the risk of cervical cancer, the HPV vaccine can be seen by parents as an excuse for their kids to be promiscuous.

Paranoid parents preach abstinence from sex because they see sexuality as a moral issue instead of a health one.

Abstinence education doesn't keep kids healthy

According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, abstinence-only sexual education doesn't reduce rates of pregnancies or STDs, despite how moral or logical it seems.

Do HPV vaccines make kids more likely to have sex?

No, kids will have sex regardless of whether they've been vaccinated. Lust isn't logical, remember?

The Canadian province of Ontario began offering free HPV vaccines to 8th grade girls at the start of the 2007-2008 school year. Researchers compared medical records of girls who were in the 8th grade during the first 2 years of the free HPV vaccination program against those of 8th grade girls from the previous 2 years. Data was obtained from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (a universal healthcare system). Girls who were vaccinated against HPV under Ontario’s new initiative were just as likely as other girls to become pregnant or contract STDs other than those caused by HPV.

Of course, the vaccinated girls were much less likely to contract HPV.

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