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HPV News: August 2019

The latest news roundup from the world of human papillomavirus (HPV) in August 2019. Missed a story? Let us know.

UK sets example

After 11 years of the HPV vaccine being offered to girls in school, the UK is now widening its programme to include boys as well. From September 2019, boys and girls will be given the vaccine at age 11 and 12, which is a huge step towards preventing HPV-related cancers in all people, such as cervical, penile, and anal cancer. The vaccine has contributed to an 86% drop in cancer-causing HPV. This is fantastic news for healthcare in the UK, and we hope that other countries across the globe will follow suit!

The failure of news coverage supportive of human papillomavirus vaccination: The investigation of the effects of online comments on female college students’ vaccination intention

Online discussions may be having a large effect on the public perception of the HPV vaccine. A study has shown that negative comments (often coming from a place of misinformation) are having a more significant effect on the perceived risk of the vaccine than positive comments. Narrative comments (such as personal experience stories) are also having a larger effect than descriptive, informative comments. Therefore, we must be proactive in sharing positive and real information regarding the HPV vaccine, to create an online story more reflective of the true statistics.

Texas Almost Mandated An HPV Vaccine. Now, The State Has One Of The Country’s Highest Rates Of Cervical Cancer

In 2007, after pressure from anti-vaccination movements, the Texas government voted against a mandated state-wide HPV vaccine. The state now has one of the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the USA, with only 40% of teens completing the vaccination course. As a result of this, the cervical cancer rate in Texas has remained one of the highest in the USA, and shows no signs of reducing. In contrast to this, Australia is on track to almost eradicate cervical cancer completely, after a programme starting in 2007 that made the vaccine free to all school children. With an over 80% uptake rate of the vaccine, it is clear to see that the HPV vaccination provides an incredible cancer prevention method, and should be reconsidered by Texas.

An Estimated 92% of Cancers Caused by HPV Could be Prevented by Vaccine

A new study by the CDC has revealed that 92% of the cancers caused by HPV are the types protected against by the HPV vaccine. An increase in vaccine rates is key to widespread prevention of these cancers. In the USA, only 51% of teens are vaccinated nationwide. To bring that number higher, medical professionals must be working to increase awareness of and access to the vaccine. We have the means to prevent HPV related cancers through vaccinations and regular screenings, with work this is fully achievable.

Ireland: Introduction of HPV vaccine for boys to be announced

In fantastic news for Ireland, the HPV vaccine will now be rolled out to boys as well as girls! The HPV virus is responsible for many cancers that affect all genders, so the government has elected to widen their programme to vaccinate all secondary school students from September 2019. This is a brilliant result for the country and is the product of tireless campaigning from HPV activist Laura Brennan who sadly passed away this year. Hopefully, uptake of the vaccine will continue to rise, and the inclusion of all schoolchildren should have a massive positive effect on the prevention of HPV related cancers nationwide.

Societal cost of oropharyngeal cancer by human papillomavirus status, cancer stage, and subsite

A study in Sweden has shown that HPV-associated oropharyngeal (OP) cancer comprises 80% of costs of OP cancers. These costs come from both direct and indirect sources, such as primary medical costs or costs of premature death. Overall, it is found that the societal costs of OP cancers are substantial. The results of this report may lead to a further consideration of a widespread HPV vaccine for males in the country, as an eradication of HPV-OPC would reduce 80% of the overall costs of OPC.


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