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The Voice of Southwest Louisiana April 2018 Issue

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine April 2018

SWLA news Is Hosting A

SWLA news Is Hosting A NAACP Forum: What's Going On In Calcasieu Parish Schools? APRIL 23, 2018 6:00PM- 8:00PM NAACP Lake Charles Branch 6062 New Covenant Faith Baptist Church 2233 12th Street · Lake Charles, LA Rev. Jimmy Stevens, Pastor with Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus 1987 Graduate of McNeese Statue University 25 years' experience Administrator in LA Public Schools St. John the Baptist Parish-Business Manager/Controller Vermillion Parish-Financial Service Officer Jefferson Parish-Director of Finance Regarded as one of the top School Board Professionals-LA Certified Member of LASBO, Government Finance Officers Association (State and National levels) Married more than 25 years Wife, Paula, teacher at Prien Lake Elementary School Two children: Christian and Bailey attend McNeese State Calcasieu Parish School Board Active in his Church, enjoys coaching youth sports, golfing, and other fitness activities. We Are Bringing The Superintendent To YOU - Come Join US! Call 337-215-5353 6 April 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 5 • Number 9

SWLA health, wealth & wellness Inform, Educate, Empower HPV VACCINE Whether Or Not To Vaccinate And At Which Age? By Emily Ashworth RN, BSN There are many healthcare decisions that we must make as parents for our children. One discussion that has been found at the forefront of the news and many commercials are choosing to vaccinate our children with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. I have been asked by many friends and family members about the vaccine and whether or not to vaccinate and at which age. I always direct them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website as I will also direct you and share my experience with my two children a story I heard from women who have contracted HPV. What is HPV you might ask? According to the CDC, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be transferred through direct contact through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. It is a virus that has over 40 different types and some of those can cause cancer to the throat, vaginal area, penis, and anus. Using a latex condom can prevent some forms but skin to skin contact may allow the transmission of some forms. Now before you go left and say, “My teen is not having sex or talking about it” think again. Sex is insinuated on commercials and other forms of advertising, video games, music videos, and more. While it is our job as parents to shield and protect our children/teenagers from adult conversations and content, it is also our job to be their teacher and protector in an area that can be very uncomfortable to discuss. Talking to a parent a few years ago she expressed to me that her child would not need the vaccine because she would teach her to wait until she was married to engage in intercourse. I shared with her the story of a young lady that did just that. What was not thought of was who her husband had been with before their first night together. HPV does not display any symptoms. When the young lady went for a pap smear, one of the only true forms of testing for the disease she had cancer cells present on her cervix from the HPV virus. The HPV vaccine is not a “permission to have sex” vaccine as many parents have expressed concern for this. The vaccine is the only prevention against several forms of cancer caused by the human papillomavirus. My children asked me when we went to the doctor what the vaccine was for and I told them, “This is a vaccine that will help prevent you from developing cancer later in life.” Gauging the maturity of your child when discussing the vaccine is important. The current recommendations from the CDC are to administer as 2 shot series 6-12 months apart starting at age 11 or 12. Today at 14 and 12 they both know why they received the vaccine. We have open conversations about sexually transmitted infections which are important to ensure their questions are being answered with the most up to date and factual information. Prayer and continued honest dialogue with our children and with their pediatrician is essential to optimal growth and development. May we continue to remember as parents even though sometimes it seems they are not listening, our Voice is vital to the choices and decisions they make. Be well! References: https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/ stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/ stdfact-hpv-vaccine-youngwomen.htm https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/ stdfact-hpv.htm Volume 5 • Number 9 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM April 2018 7

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