One in four Americans — or nearly 80 million people — have HPV. While HPV infections usually go away on their own, infections that don’t go away can cause cancer and genital warts. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all young adults through age 26 who didn’t complete the series when they were younger. But, only about half of young women and about 20% of young men have received the HPV vaccine, leaving far too many young adults at risk for HPV-related cancers.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office on Women's Health (OWH) developed the HPV VAX NOW campaign with the long-term goal of increasing HPV vaccination rates among young adults ages 18–26 living in Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas. These states have some of the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the country. The campaign aims to help young adults in these three states recognize their risk for HPV-related cancers and genital warts, see the HPV vaccine as critical to protecting their health, and feel empowered to seek the vaccine. It also aims to help health care providers understand the important role they play in helping young adults get the HPV vaccine, including how to effectively recommend the vaccine.
The campaign web pages, which OWH developed in collaboration with the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, offer information for young adults and guidance, tips, and resources for health care providers. Organizations can find messages and graphics to promote the campaign in the toolkit to reach young adults and the toolkit to reach health care providers.