This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
Some perspective is needed on the controversy over the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that arose after a recent Republican presidential debate. The best way to do that is to take sex out of the equation.
Instead of preventing a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer in women and oral cancer in men, let’s say the HPV vaccine guarded against a fictional virus that caused breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Wouldn’t most parents jump at the chance to decrease the chances of their children contracting those potentially deadly cancers? Only the most hard-core anti-vaccine holdout would say no.
Which gets us back to the sex part of the HPV equation and why some otherwise rational people don’t think children should be inoculated against it. They oppose the HPV vaccine – Cervarix or Gardasil – because they fear that removing one of the consequences of premarital sex would encourage it. Read more »