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Most states offer HPV vaccinations to girls in juvenile justice system
Date:4/28/2010

PROVIDENCE, RI Nearly all U.S. states offer the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to adolescent girls who have been arrested or detained, according to a new report from The Miriam Hospital and Brown University. The study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, offers the first nationwide review of HPV vaccination practices among juvenile justice facilities.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and another six million people become infected each year. At least half of all sexually active men and women will get it at some point in their lives. There are more than 40 types of genital HPV, which is passed to others through sexual contact. Although HPV is usually harmless, some types are associated with genital warts and certain cancers particularly cervical cancer, which strikes more than 12,000 American women each year.

Several FDA-approved vaccines have been found to be effective in protecting women against the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer. Vaccines are recommended for females between the ages of 11 and 26.

"Juvenile offenders may be at particularly high risk for HPV because they tend to become sexually active at a younger age and have more sexual partners than their peers," says Courtney E. Henderson, MPH, the study's lead author and administrative director for the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at Brown University. "Also, these girls often do not receive consistent health care, meaning they might not otherwise receive the HPV vaccine on their own."

Henderson, along with co-investigators Michelle A. Lally, MD, MSc, and Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH, both from The Miriam Hospital, surveyed state immunization program managers or juvenile justice medical personnel from all 50 states. They found that 39 states including Rhode Island currently offer the HPV vaccine
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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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