ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Health; Dorothy Fink, M.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health and Director, Office on Women's Health
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States causing nearly 36,000 cases of cancer in men and women each year. Most of these cases could have been prevented by the HPV vaccine. To address issue, HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) announced its HPV VAX NOW campaign. This campaign will target young men and women ages 18 to 26, as well as health care providers, living in Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas, states with some of the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the country. HPV VAX NOW’s focus on young adults — a group that has largely been overlooked by HPV vaccination activities to date — represents an important strategy to prevent HPV-related cancers and save lives.
The HPV vaccine is still effective at preventing cancer when given to young adults, and is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for men and women through age 26 who were not vaccinated as children. Recent data show that vaccination in this age group can cut cervical cancer rates by more than half. The campaign will help young adults recognize their risk for HPV-related cancers, pre-cancerous cervical lesions, and genital warts, see the HPV vaccine as an important prevention strategy, and feel empowered to ask for the vaccine.
The campaign is also designed 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 to young adult patients. Young adults and health care providers can find relevant information and resources from the campaign in the web pages below:
OWH developed the HPV VAX NOW campaign and its related resources in collaboration with the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) as well as a host of other federal and non-federal partners. As the campaign progresses beyond launch, OWH welcomes opportunities to engage more campaign partners and enhance the reach and impact of the campaign through partner networks. Partners can find messages and graphics to promote the campaign in the toolkit to reach young adults and the toolkit to reach health care providers, hosted on HHS’ vaccines.gov. Additional resources for the campaign will also be rolled out in the coming months. Stay tuned for these resources and help spread the word by promoting the HPV VAX NOW immunization campaign within social media and using the hashtag #HPVvaxNOW to share messages about the campaign.
HPV vaccination remains a priority for OASH, and this campaign represents the latest in a host of initiatives aimed at protecting our nation’s health and dramatically reducing cases of HPV-related cancers and pre-cancerous lesions.