Dr. Santoro tells healthline.com that just one sexual encounter can spread HPV, and in extreme cases, cause cancer
A 2015 study concluded that physicians are not urging teens to get the HPV vaccination, and parents do not understand its necessity.
Dr. Nanette Santoro, a professor, and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said that many parents believe that cervical cancer only occurs in young women who are promiscuous.
“Many parents are not fully aware, no matter how great they feel their communication is with their child, of the extent of their child’s sexual activity and interest,” Santoro told healthline. “They may feel that they have control over their child’s actions, but the fact of the matter is that they do not.”
“It takes one infected partner to transmit HPV, and if it is a high-grade HPV, it can cause a great deal of mischief,” Santoro added.
Other parents think that the vaccine is harmful, but it’s “extremely safe” and “worth the risk of a reaction, which is extremely rare,” she added.