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Misconceptions about HPV vaccine explored in special issue of scientific journal
Date:10/19/2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Suspicions about sexual promiscuity and vaccine safety are explored in an article in the November issue of the journal Preventive Medicine, which dedicates a section of that issue to research concerning the human papillomavirus.

"Beliefs, behaviors and HPV vaccine: Correcting the myths and the misinformation" is a review of journal articles and other medical and social science literature exploring beliefs held by the general public that have an impact on HPV vaccination acceptance.

Human papillomavirus is the primary cause of cervical cancer, with 12,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cervical cancer causes about 4,000 deaths in women each year in the United States and is a leading cause of cancer death in developing countries. According to the CDC, about 15,000 HPV-associated cancers -- including cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal -- in U.S. women each year may be prevented by vaccines.

Two HPV vaccines are licensed by the FDA and recommended by the CDC. These vaccines are Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and Gardasil, made by Merck.

The authors chose topics that they consider timely and important as they explored reasons for a lower-than-anticipated rate of HPV vaccination in adolescents and young adults ages 11 to 26.

Among those topics critically examined were "fears about risk compensation or sexual disinhibition after vaccination, concerns about vaccine safety, inadequate vaccination recommendations by health care providers, and distrust due to the perceived 'newness,' as well as the perceived 'stigma' of HPV vaccines," said first author Gregory D. Zimet, Ph.D., a professor of pediatrics in the Section of Adolescent Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, co-director of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Center for HPV Research and a member of the Indiana University Melvin and B
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Contact: Mary Hardin
mhardin@iu.edu
317-274-5456
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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