It's pretty easy to think that the only thing we need to worry about is the spread and transmission of the coronavirus, but because we are such a young city, sexually transmitted diseases are also a huge concern.

The good news is that there are vaccines already ready for most STDs. The bad news is, well, you have to get a shot. If you don't, there could be some pretty ugly and uncomfortable ramifications down the road.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health wants to make sure that El Paso teens are vaccinated against the human papillomavirus or HPV. The vaccine helps prevent not only the infection but also cervical cancer.

HPV hits teens very hard with one in four getting infected. Hispanics have higher rates of HPV cancers and that's why El Paso makes it a point of getting the vaccine out to them. By targeting middle and high schools, college-aged students, and other organizations that teens frequent, El Paso has been able to get to a 55 percent increase in HPV vaccination rates.

The thing about this particular vaccination is that it is a 3-dose series, so you will have to go bac for follow-ups with your teens. There is a voucher system to track referrals from schools and community organizations. There are mobile and on-site vaccination events and a health message that's geared towards teens.You can get more information on the Public Health Department Medicaid Waiver and Immunization program by calling 2-1-1 or going to EPHealth.com or EPSalud.com.

I was a teen mom. I had a child when I was 18 years old, and the importance of cluing kids in on how to handle their sexuality, feelings that they might not be able to handle, and how to prevent pregnancies and STDs is so important. Apart from the religious and moral issues, keeping your teen safe is so important in this world where they have such easy access to very adult things online, wouldn't you rather your child learn about these things from you and experts rather than some sketchy website?