Noted Jamaican gynecologist Dr Michael Abrahams has asserted that many parents are shying away from ensuring that their young daughters are vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) because they are in denial that their off-spring may be sexually active.

According to the Jamaica Gleaner News Paper, Last year, the Government introduced a programme to provide the HPV vaccination to schoolgirls, but close to 60 per cent of the 20,647 pupils who were targeted in the Christmas term did not receive the vaccine, and between February and April this year, only around 400 were inoculated.

Educators were quoted as saying that there was inadequate information about the programme although the health ministry says that it ran advertisements and sent out letters to parents through schools.

But according to Abrahams, there is the greater issue of an unwillingness to accept that underage girls are having sex, through which the virus may be transmitted.

He was speaking with The Gleaner yesterday at the Dr Joseph St Elmo Hall Memorial Lecture Series on Cervical Cancer put on by the Jamaica Cancer Society.

HPV is transmitted through sexual as well as intimate skin-to-skin contact.

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