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HPV News: October 2018

1 Nov 2018

The latest monthly roundup of news, announcements and scientific discoveries from the world of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). If you have any comments we’d love to hear from you!

 

HPV Prevention week in Canada

The first week in October marked HPV Prevention Week in Canada. The Federation of Medical Women of Canada started the awareness campaign in 2017, and used it to host events and initiative that will raise awareness around HPV and cancers it causes. The theme of this year’s week was #CANADAvsHPV, as Canada aims to lead the way in HPV prevention – coming together to close the preventative care gap and encourage behaviour that will ultimately save lives, like getting the HPV vaccine. Hockey, one of Canada’s national sports, was used as a metaphor as people were encouraged to take shots against HPV.

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No Increase in Sexual Behaviour after HPV Vaccine

A report, published in Pediatrics journal, has reviewed data on over 800,000 teenagers between 2001 and 2015, to examine their sexual behaviours before and after legislation regarding access and education around the HPV vaccine. Their results found no significant association between new legislation related to HPV and increased sexual behaviour in teenagers. This bodes well for any parents worried about the effect the HPV vaccine will have on teen sexual behaviour. The report encourages pediatricians to continue educating patients and families about the vaccine and use this data to alleviate parental concerns that education on the vaccine could promote increased sexual behaviors in their child.

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HPV Vaccine Now Available for Adults

The US Food and Drugs Administration have have announced that they have approved the use of Gardasil9 for adults. It was previously only approved for children between the ages of 9 and 26, but now adults from 27 to 45 will be able to also receive the vaccine. This allows HPV to be prevented across a broader range. HPV vaccination before vaccination has the potential to prevent 31,200 cases of cancer every year from developing. After tests, studies and reviews, it was found that the vaccine was effective in preventing HPV infection in adults.

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Examining the HPV Vaccine in Japan

Recommendations for the HPV vaccine in Japan have been suspended for the past five years, amid ‘safety concerns;. There are claims in Japan that the vaccine is not effective, so a study in The Journal of Infectious Diseases set out to research the vaccine effectiveness (VE) in Japanese women aged between 20 and 22. They found that the vaccine was highly effective against HPV types 16 and 18, the types the bivalent vaccine is designed to protect against. The vaccine also offered ross protection against types 31, 45 and 52. These findings will hopefully reassure politicians about the VE of the HPV vaccine in Japan.

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Using Smartphones to Promote HPV Vaccine Unlikely to Work

Young people are one of the most at-risk groups for HPV. It’s important to educate them on the benefits on getting the vaccine, but how to get the information across is a tricky problem. It was previously thought that using smartphones to disseminate information, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests that this might not work. “Although college students own, utilise and speak technology more than any other popular subgroup, this study indicates that collect students are overwhelmingly hesitant to receive basic information about the HPV vaccine over the smartphone,” said Gabrielle Darville, health promotion and behaviour researcher and lead researcher on this study. Instead, health professionals should tailor health interventions to different students, instead of opting for a one-size-fits-all policy.

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HPV Vaccine Programme Extended to Danish Boys

A new plan has been launched in Denmark to improve vaccination rates in young people. The new legislation, devised by the ministries for health and children, has included extending the current HPV vaccination programme to boys. From the 1st of July in 2019, Boys from the age of 12 will be offered the vaccine. It will be free of charge just like the girls’ programme. The government proposes that healthcare practitioners should be trained as vaccination ambassadors in order to increase rates among young people and alleviate any concerns they have.

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