Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Politically Correct ... Genital Warts?
Ok, a medical rant!!! I'm tired of the Gardasil (copyrighted) commercials which continue to shroud the prevalence and problems associated with all things sexual.
STOP SAYING "AND OTHER HPV DISEASES" and be out with it-- GENITAL WARTS, GENITAL WARTS, GENITAL WARTS!!!!!
Here's the website in case you're wondering: http://www.gardasil.com/
I guess the new euphemism for "genital warts" is "other HPV diseases." As if saying "genital warts" causes them to come into existence. Do people ACTUALLY think that the average patient, let alone the AVERAGE girl/young woman between the ages of 9-26 knows what they mean by "other HPV diseases"?
Honestly, I've seen genital warts. They're not pretty. At all...not to mention uncomfortable. (No, I don't know this because of my own personal experience.) You have to freeze them off, or burn them off with a laser, or use cream...and even then, they can come back.
It all comes back to the worry that vaccinating girls against this highly prevalent virus (between 1/2 to 3/4 of people have it) will remove all of the consequences from having sex ...either at a young age, unprotected, unmarried, with multiple partners (take your pick) and will all of a sudden cause them all to run out and have sex, since they no longer have to worry about *gasp* other HPV diseases. Come on. Honestly, I'm sure that it's the rare girl who said "No" to sex only because she was afraid of getting cervical cancer or genital warts.
That said, I'm completely for the vaccine, don't get me wrong. And I'm also all for waiting until you are in a stable, committed, adult (preferably married) relationship before having sex. But all of the rhetoric surrounding it, as stated above, is just silly. Young people need to know all of the consequences and responsibilities of sex--physical, emotional, social, financial. In the US, 1/2 of all pregnancies are unintended. Obviously, hiding behind euphemisms and sweeping things under the rug isn't quite cutting it.
Lesson Learned: Euphemisms, especially medical ones probably don't help anyone. Be clear and honest, especially about some of the most intimate things humans deal with.
What it's worth: It's worth saving some confusion and lots of uncomfortable explanation later.
Oh, and I apologize for not giving you references for the above stats...but I'm being lazy this evening, and they're true, I promise.