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November 3, 2009
Hello and welcome to the first edition of The Buzz News Flash:  Tips for Talking Tonight, brought to you by Let's Be Honest, the parent education program at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. You will receive these editions periodically in addition to The Parent Buzz, our monthly e-newsletter. The Buzz News Flash will provide you with timely responses to sexual health current events topics that appear in the news and are relevant to you as you parent your child.
Some of you may have read last week that the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration has approved expansion of the use of the vaccine Gardasil for the prevention of genital warts in boys and men, ages 9 through 26.   Gardasil has been approved for use in girls since 2006 for the prevention of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer and genital warts due to several major types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The vaccine is recommended for girls at this age because it is important for them to get the vaccine before their first sexual contact - before they have been exposed to HPV. For males, the vaccine is aimed at protecting against genital warts and less common occurrences of penile and anal cancers.  It is also believed that vaccinating males would help cut down the spread of the virus to their sexual partners.  At some point in their lives more than 50% of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV.

While HPV most likely is not a concern for your son or daughter now, it is important that as parents we remain well informed about sexual health issues as they impact upon our children.  This new announcement from the FDA about Gardasil for males may be a good opportunity to talk with your family pediatrician. It is a sexual health question that you can add to your list for the annual visit.  As the primary sexuality educators of our children it is also critical that we continue to foster open lines of communication with our middle school child as they enter their adolescent years. We all recognize that if we don't talk to our children they are likely to get information, and often misinformation, from their friends, the Internet, magazines, television or other sources.  Some of their friends may be talking about getting vaccinated against HPV so be prepared to answer questions from your child. Stay informed, find out more. You may also want wish to click on a link below to learn more about the vaccine in females as well as males.
Parent Education
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

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The Buzz News Flash is brought to you by
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts' Parent Educator, Linette Liebling.