Friday, October 06, 2006

Cervical cancer vaccine vs our "moral" guardians

There is talk about introducing the vaccine against the human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer. It really irritates me that some people argue against it, saying it will encourage under-age sex. What a lot of horse manure.

I don't think that all that many teenagers are aware of the link and anyway, cervical cancer is a long-term risk, not an immediate one, and as such is more likely to be forgotten about or pushed to the back of the mind than other STDs or pregnancy.

I think there's that element of wanting to keep sexually transmitted diseases as a punishment: be sexually active and suffer! The sexually active teen in horror films' number is almost always up first, and so shall it be in real life. And joy of joys, it's a wonderfully sexist consequence: only women will suffer for their carnality.

I want people to behave responsibly but I don't think deliberately withholding a prevention for a disease is going to reduce teen sex.

It's surely immoral to be able to prevent illness, pain and death and fail to do so.

It strikes me as unsettling also, that the plans are only to vaccinate teenaged girls. Boys as well as girls should be vaccinated, to prevent potential male carriers transmitting the virus. Vaccinating only girls will be 60-75% effective: it would be much higher if both sexes had the vaccine. Maybe we could get rid of virtually all incidence.

1 comment:

Splee said...

I doubt any young girl thinks, in the heat of the moment, "hmm, I'd better not have sex right now, I might get cervical cancer". Give the vaccination, and keep people safe.