January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. 

West Virginia has the highest incidence of cervical cancer in the nation. Although HPV vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in protecting against the HPV types targeted by the vaccines, HPV vaccination rates remain low in West Virginia. In fact, in 2017, only 44% of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age in West Virginia were fully vaccinated against HPV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that increasing HPV vaccination rates from current levels to 80 percent would prevent an additional 53,000 future cervical cancer cases in the United States among girls who now are 12 years old or younger over the course of their lifetimes. Thousands of cases of other HPV-associated cancers in the U.S. also likely would be prevented within the same time-frame. A growing proportion of these cancers – most notably, oropharyngeal cancers -will occur in males if their HPV vaccination rates remain low as well.

HPV Vaccination Tools & Resources

CDC HPV Vaccination Tools :  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website hosts a variety of HPV vaccination materials for Parents and Public, Healthcare Professionals, and other Partners and Programs.

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Toolkit:  The George Washington University Cancer Center has designed a Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Social Media Toolkit to help healthcare and public health professionals establish a social media strategy built around Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.  The toolkit is designed to help healthcare and public health professionals: understand the functions and benefits of social media; establish a cervical cancer awareness month social media strategy; manage social media accounts; implement Facebook and Twitter best practices; disseminate messaging on breast cancer prevention, screening and treatment; and evaluate social media efforts. The toolkit also includes tips and evidence-informed sample messaging along with other social media resources and tools. Click here to access the toolkit.

QI Tools from HPV IQ:  Teams of researchers and public health professionals at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health developed quality improvement tool kits and tested them in clinics across the country. The kits are designed to be effective, easy to use, and easy to adapt to practitioners’ local needs and resources. Click here to view the resources.

Immunization and Practice-Change Tools Available from the AAP:  Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ practice change tools and comprehensive Immunization Training Guide. The practice-change tools cover standing orders to improve immunization rates, contraindications, and use of Vaccine Information Statements.

The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable:  The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable (HPV Roundtable) is a trusted coalition of public, private, and voluntary organizations and experts dedicated to reducing incidence of and mortality from HPV cancers in the United States. Click here to view their tools and resources.

Additional Tools and Resources