Texans are letting sexual taboos get in the way of preventing cancer, according to a recent editorial in The Dallas Morning News.
When it comes to vaccinating kids against the human papillomavirus, better known as HPV, Texas ranks near the bottom. The shot has been around for a decade now, and it prevents a virus that 90% of men and 85% of women will otherwise contract in their lifetimes. In a small percentage of cases, HPV can lead to cancer.
But some parents in Texas appear to be reluctant to vaccinate their children, operating under the mistaken belief that giving their adolescents the shot means encouraging them to be sexually active.
Another problem: Doctors simply aren’t prescribing the vaccine frequently enough. In some Texas counties, only one in four children has received the vaccine.
As one Texas doctor put it, “A simple shot can mean the difference in life and death.”