A handful of years back, Gardasil, a vaccination for HPV—the human papilloma virus, the most common STD around—came on the market, available in a series of three shots. For anyone unaware, HPV is pretty terrifying as it can cause things like genital warts and (dun dun dun) cervical cancer! The shot was recommended by doctors to teen and college-aged girls.
For men, HPV can (but rarely does) cause genital warts but the biggest issue is that it is undetectable in men, and therefore they easily spread HPV to their ladyfriends as they are unaware they have it. Eeep! So thank goodness that now HPV vaccinations are being recommended for teenage boys! While the vaccine has been available for boys for a while, it is only somewhat recently that it’s becoming a normal recommendation. This kind of practice is called herd immunity—vaccinating one segment of a population to protect another.
Honestly though, I am on the fence about the vaccination only because it’s new and I worry 15 years from now all these teen girls will start having babies with scales or two sets of sex organs. BUT I suppose it’s a risk some may be willing to take to prevent genital warts and cervical cancer! A look at this terrifying statistic backs that up: while teens and young adults represent only a quarter of the sexually active population, they account for half of the new STD cases every year.
Teenagers have that whole “I’m invincible!” vibe, and therefore do stupid things like get drunk and go “car surfing” and have unprotected sex, actions which end up in deaths, pregnancies and STDs. Except not me—when I was a teenager my boyfriend was so terrified of me getting pregnant we used condoms (which he nicknamed “Weapons of Mass Destruction”), AND I was on birth control, AND he always pulled out…He wasn’t worried about STDs because we were both so fresh and so clean (clean), but whenever I had a headache/stomach ache/cold he always asked if I was pregnant.
Anyways, quick, tell me your thoughts on stds, HPV, Gardasil or the sex you had in high school. Go!