Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted illness in the United States (Saslow et al., 2007). Currently, one vaccine, Gardasil (Merck, Whitehouse Station, NJ), prevents four subtypes of the HPV virus, ultimately protecting women against the major cause of cervical cancer. Recently, many state officials have sought to mandate Gardasil, raising much controversy. This article discusses common arguments for and against mandating the vaccine, describes nursing implications, and offers a Christian perspective of this debate.
Christy M. Smith, APRN, RN is a family nurse practitioner with Indiana Wesleyan University and Regis University online. She is a doctoral student at the Medical University of South Carolina, a member of Charleston Baptist Church, and a mother of three young girls.