Women's health: Two bads and a goodFrightening fact #1: By the age of 50, 80% of women will have contracted human papillomavirus (HPV). While HPV may be asymptomatic for years, it causes cervical cancer in half a million women every year.
Frightening fact #2: The median age at which girls become sexually active is 15.
Good news: The FDA just approved a vaccine for HPV to be administered to preteens, and it is likely to suggest states make it mandatory. Three cheers for science!
The downside is that the vaccine may be prohibitively expensive and requires a series of three shots, which is difficult to enforce for children that old, who are beyond their infant immunization routines. And, as a commenter on Benoit's blog (where I learned about this, thanks Benoit!) points out, the thought of vaccinating children for STDs is, well, icky.