So what in our medical mind allows us to process the yucky subject of a vaccine to prevent a STD? How do you look into the eyes of your prepubescent son or daughter and explain that they, as well as over 50% their friends could someday be infected with a virus that causes: oral cancer, cervical cancer, penile cancer and anal cancer? How do you explain the need for this vaccine when 11-year-old boys think that girls have “cooties” and girls their age think that boys are “gross.”?
How about telling them that the vaccine they are receiving prevents cancer caused by a virus? Now, you may have to explain what cancer is, maybe even what a virus is. I suppose it’s possible that an 11 year old will press for details as to how the virus is transmitted. Good. In that case you, and not their peers, get to be the one to explain. Remember though, it’s always good to start simple and only answer the question asked.
I’m reminded of the story of a child who inquired, “Mom, where did I come from?” Figuring the time had come, she took a deep breath and explained the birds and bees in great detail. The kid looked confused. “No, I mean; one of my friends said he was from Chicago. I was just wondering where I came from.”