My opinion

By Dr. Deepak Gupta , Ms. Kaya Chakrabortty
Corresponding Author Dr. Deepak Gupta
Self, - United States of America
Submitting Author Dr. Deepak Gupta
Other Authors Ms. Kaya Chakrabortty
Self, - United States of America


HPV, Kissing, Mass Media, Vaccination, Parents, Wards

Gupta D, Chakrabortty K. Kissing HPV or Kissing It Goodbye: Time To Reinvent Mass Media Strategy To Increase Acceptance Of HPV Vaccination Among Parents And Their Young Wards. WebmedCentral INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2021;12(7):WMC005731

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Submitted on: 08 Jul 2021 01:40:59 AM GMT
Published on: 30 Jul 2021 05:00:28 AM GMT

My opinion

As physicians, some of us first encountered the plight of human papillomavirus (HPV) among their patients once they moved across the continents. Surprisingly, those first observed episodes were among toddlers and even infants presenting for surgical management of recurrent respiratory/laryngeal papillomatosis under anesthesia [1]. This observed vertical transmission of HPV did not rattle much until the exposure to HPV vaccination promotion to counter cervical and other genital cancers [2-5]. Then came the awakening that some parents may be baffled by whether HPV vaccination among minor wards will promote precocious promiscuity among their wards [6] unless HPV vaccination among wards makes them accept their pubertal and sexual growth as the undeniable fact of life. Anyhow, the bottom line is that for parents to wholeheartedly accept HPV vaccination among their minor wards, the narrative in the mass media has to change and be outright open that kissing itself may transmit HPV considering that 15 years as the age for first kiss [7-10] is socially acceptable even among the parents abhorring at the idea of their wards exploring sexual activity before attaining the legal age of maturity. After the age of maturity, it will be up to the wards themselves as young adults whether they want to constantly worry about infection control against HPV during their sexual lives by remaining unvaccinated against HPV or whether they want to embrace HPV vaccination at the first moment of turning legally mature if their parents could not muster up courage to accept their minor wards' needing HPV vaccination even if they are engaging only in socially acceptable kissing and making out before attaining the legal age of maturity. There is no better time than the current time to reinvent mass media strategy to increase acceptance of HPV vaccination among parents and their young wards because for the first time, there seems to be decline in genital cancers but increase in oral cancers as related to HPV due to changing sexual practices among the newer generations mistakenly believing that sexually transmitted diseases are only transmitted genitally and not orally [11-14]. In this regard, a counterintuitive movie scene from a Bollywood movie comes to the mind wherein lead female character from India objects to lead male character from Italy kissing her while mistakenly worrying that she may get pregnant just by kissing [15]. That is not true but sexually transmitted diseases can and do spread orally including kissing [16-18] whereby parents may be more amenable to get their wards vaccinated to prevent HPV spread by kissing rather than vaccinating their sexually active wards against HPV. Essentially, the bottom line is that parents and their young wards have to ensure that the young wards not only not end up carrying the disease burden of HPV but also not end up transmitting their disease burden vertically to wards' future wards. 

To further investigate into awareness about HPV vaccination, we personally bought targeted responses [19] with SurveyMonkey audience (n=130). All respondents were full-time students at four-year colleges across all the regions in the United States wherein almost 96% were aged 18-29 years and almost 53% were females. These respondents responded to the following two open-ended questions:

1. In your view, why do some parents NOT get their teenage children vaccinated against human

papillomavirus (HPV)?

2. In your view, why do some young adults NOT get themselves vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Although only one of these 130 respondents viewed absence of sexual activity among young adults as the reason for the absence of HPV vaccination among young adults, as many as eight out of the same 130 respondents viewed absence of sexual activity among teenage children as the reason for the absence of HPV vaccination by parents among their teenage children. Interestingly, respondents open-ended responses did not elaborate in detail (a) why they were unsure about the parents’ and young adults’ reasons for absent HPV vaccination, (b) why parents and young adults feel HPV vaccination as unnecessary, (c) why parents and young adults do not educate themselves about HPV vaccination and its side-effects, and (d) why parents and young adults are non-believers about HPV vaccination and thus anti-vaxxers. As many as 10% of 130 respondents seemed disinterested in the questions and thus non-responsive.

Summarily, it is time to broaden awareness about HPV and HPV vaccination by broadening the minds of parents and young adults whereby they have to realize that they can either kiss HPV or kiss it goodbye with HPV vaccination.


  1. Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis or Laryngeal Papillomatosis. https://www.nidcd.nih.g ov/health/recurrent-respiratory-papillomatosis
  2. Causes and Risk Factors of HPV. /hpv-causes-risk-factors-3132995
  4. Human papillomavirus vaccination (minimum age: 9 years). https://www.cdc .gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html#note-hpv
  5. HPV Vaccine Recommendations. d/hpv/hcp/recommendations.html
  6. Talking to Parents: About Infant Vaccines. heet-hpv.pdf
  7. Is Your Life Average? 0NWig&t=100s
  8. The Average Age for the First Kiss. https://mariamiloj
  9. My 10-Year-Old Daughter Has a Boyfriend, and They’re Kissing. https: //
  10. The Surprising Importance of the First Kiss. ortance-the-first-kiss
  11. Cervical cancer incidence declines as rates of other HPV-associated cancers rise. /cervical-cancer-incidence-declines-as-rates-of-other-hpvassociated-cancers-rise
  12. Assessing Impact of HPV Vaccination on Cervical Cancer Incidence among Women Aged 15–29 Years in the United States, 1999–2017: An Ecologic Study. /30.long
  13. Timing, number, and type of sexual partners associated with risk of oropharyngeal cancer.
  14. Trends in Incidence of Cancers of the Oral Cavity and Pharynx — United States 2007–2016. 6915a1.htm
  15. Salman Khan's Most Dramatic Scene | Bollywood Movie | Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. aYw0U&t=111s
  16. Kissing and hpv: honest popular visions, the human papilloma virus, and cancers. es/PMC4059815/
  17. Can You Get HPV from Kissing? And 14 Other Things to Know.
  18. Can You Get HPV From Kissing? https://www.very
  19. Buying Responses with SurveyMonkey Audience. https://help.surveymonk

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herbal medicine is the best Posted by Dr. Mellisa Bryan on 07 Aug 2021 11:40:11 PM GMT

herbal medicine is the best Posted by Dr. Mellisa Bryan on 07 Aug 2021 11:40:23 PM GMT

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