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Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Launches FREE HPV Vaccine Campaign for Females ages 19-26

Agency encouraging women ages 19-26 to take advantage of FREE HPV vaccine series

Contacts

Blue Carreker, 518-434-5678


Published: 04.01.11| Updated: 04.04.11

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with three out of four people infected with HPV during their lives. In order to combat this serious health issue, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP) is providing FREE HPV vaccines to women between the ages of 19 and 26, made possible through a grant from the NYS Health Department. The series of three injections helps to protect against some types of Human Papillomavirus that cause genital warts and most cervical cancer.

Beginning April 1st , UHPP will be launching a multimedia campaign to target this at-risk audience and encourage women to take advantage of the FREE HPV vaccinations. This eight week campaign will include 1,883 15/30-second television spots on networks including FOX, CW, MTV, VH1, BET, and TBS during popular viewing times. In addition, 218 30-second radio spots will air, along with ads on four bus shelters and one bus tail. Promotion will take place in Columbia, Greene, Albany and Rensselaer counties.

In response to rising rates of HPV, the New York State Health Department has provided special grants to family planning agencies enabling them to provide and promote the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, at no cost to patients. Although the majority of early promotion of the vaccine has been aimed at young girls, UHPP is targeting its promotional messages to women from ages 19 to 26. "Although it is best to get the vaccine before becoming sexually active, it is still highly recommended at any age, nine or older" stated Christine Pluviose, MD, Vice President for Patient Services at UHPP. "Those women who are already sexually active remain at risk for HPV and the vaccine remains effective at preventing exposure to those strains that can cause serious medical problems."

The vaccine is administered in three doses, and requires three visits to the health center. "The only way to be sure that a person gets the maximum benefit from the HPV vaccination is to complete all three doses," explains Pluviose. With each dose normally costing approximately $120 or more per injection, price was definitely proving a roadblock to women who wanted protection but could not afford all three doses. The recommended timeline for injections requires patients to receive all three doses within a six month period. The second and third doses should be given at two and six months (respectively) after the first dose.

Appointments must be made in advance to receive the vaccine. Although the vaccine is FREE, patients are required to pay for a nurse visit either with Medicaid, private insurance or out-of-pocket, with the specific cost determined by a sliding-scale fee, based on income. The grant does not cover the expense of vaccinations for males; however they may also receive the HPV vaccine to reduce risk of contracting the virus and developing the genital warts associated with this common STI. Vaccinating men provides a double benefit in that fewer men with HPV will also mean that fewer women are exposed. The vaccine will be available at UHPP all year or until supplies last. To make an appointment visit http://www.plannedparenthood.org/uhpp/make-an-appointment-22816.htm or call (518)434-5678.

For more information on Human Papillomavirus, click here to download our infomation sheet.

Visuals and audio clips from the campaign available on request to katherine@uhpp.org.

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Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is a community-based non-profit organization providing advocacy, education and reproductive health care services in the capital region since 1934. Our service area includes Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer Counties. In 2010, the agency provided health care services to over 11,000 men, women and youth who made over 23,000 visits to our health centers located in Albany, Troy and Hudson. UHPP community educators also provided 366 programs to 4,805 participants.

The UHPP mission is to promote healthy sexuality and reproductive choice through exceptional services, honest education and fearless advocacy.

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