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Public Health Issues Related to HPV Vaccination

Hershey, Jody H.; Velez, Luis F.

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: September-October 2009 - Volume 15 - Issue 5 - p 384–392
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181a23de6
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The human papillomavirus (HPV) is clearly established as the cause of cervical cancer, and vaccines targeting oncogenic forms of the virus are important as a primary method of prevention. However, barriers to cervical screening and vaccination such as a lack of knowledge of HPV, access to healthcare, and poor follow-up prevent the acceptance and utilization of HPV vaccines. Strategies for prevention of disease and implementation of vaccination are in development, but the importance of primary prevention of HPV infection needs to be stressed. This review assesses the potential impact of vaccination for cervical cancer, barriers to vaccination, and the methods used to increase coverage. With the advent of prophylactic vaccines, HPV, a common infection in the United States, can be prevented in most women.

This study assesses the potential impact of vaccination for cervical cancer, barriers to vaccination, and the methods used to increase coverage.

Jody H. Hershey, MD, MPH, is Director of the New River Health District, Christiansburg, Virginia and Clinical Professor, Family and Preventive Medicine, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Luis F. Velez MD, PhD, MPH is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and is associated with the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the university.

Corresponding Author: Jody H. Hershey, MD, MPH, New River Health District, 210 South Pepper St, Ste A, Christiansburg, VA (jody.hershey@vdh.virginia.gov).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.