To the editor:
I was fairly disappointed in the coverage given to the HPV bill in the Journal-World on Jan. 26. The article in question never mentions that the vast majority of HPV transmissions occur during premarital sex, and that waiting to have sex until marriage is the surest means of prevention.
I find it hard to understand why we so openly criticize some harmful behavior (smoking, for example) and not others (premarital/ promiscuous sex, in this case).
The comment about date rape was especially harmful, insofar as it attempts to convey the idea that all girls are at risk of date rape, and therefore all girls need this vaccine.
Well, all girls are not at the same risk for date rape; those who are wise enough not to put themselves in dangerous situations (drinking and being alone with a man, perhaps) don't get raped nearly as often.
The article in question failed to address the issue of choice versus risk, but the bottom line is that making smart choices is the best way to avoid contracting HPV. By failing to assert that very basic point, the article endorsed the current social dogma which allows risky behavior to go unquestioned while we expect vaccines to fix all the subsequent problems. No wonder a disease like HPV is such a pressing issue in the first place.