Meeting the Community Information Needs Regarding Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccinations
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) three-shot vaccine series is the only current method to prevent future HPV persistent infection-associated cancers. In July 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing that almost 39,000 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed in the United States each year between 2008-2012 (1). This data represents an approximate increase of 12,000 more cases of HPV-associated cancers each year than data released in 2012 (2). Of the annual HPV-associated cancers, over 28,000 that are due to HPV strains could be prevented by the use of one of the three possible three shot vaccination series approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A recent study conducted in our community showed a significant lack of knowledge on how HPV was spread and the HPV-associated cancers. The study confirmed there are misconceptions that surround HPV vaccination. In addition, it is not well known among physicians or the community that males age 9-26 have the option to be vaccinated against HPV with a three-shot series. The goal of this project is to prepare educational materials at the appropriate third-grade reading level for our community (which also may be utilized nationwide) and to provide a focused educational forum that will give healthcare providers the tools they need to have conversations about the HPV three-shot vaccine series. It is hoped through these educational endeavors that the vaccination rate at University Health Shreveport (UH) will improve for both males and females.