Letters: Abstinence not enough to prevent HPV spread

Dr Jonathan Holbrook (GP, 28 November) is absolutely right to point out the importance of abstinence in any schools' health education programme.

However, there is no guarantee that this will prevent infection with HPV or any other STI. Firstly, there is the small but significant risk of rape and secondly, there is the risk of an unfaithful partner importing an STI into the relationship.

Paradoxically, the Catholic Education Service has stated quite clearly that the HPV vaccine is needed adding: 'There is nothing in Catholic teaching to suggest that there is anything wrong with the use of vaccination against this disease'.

I am not a Catholic myself, but I find it interesting that this is the official position when Catholicism has come under criticism recently due to the disagreement of just one Catholic school.

Dr John Nichols, Guildford.

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