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"It's Dismal" Says Health Official About Nevada's HPV Vaccination Rate

Immunize Nevada

When we hear about HPV, the conversation often focuses on young women and the risk of cervical cancer. In reality, HPV is a much larger health crisis for women and men linked to many other diseases that we struggle to talk openly about, like vaginal and penile cancers.

But two women in Reno are ready to talk and their goal is prevention, since there is a vaccine for HPV deemed safe by the CDC.

The guests joining Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss for this special discussion include Heidi Parker from Immunize Nevada and Abbi Whitaker, an HPV-related cancer survivor in Reno.

NOTE: This interview does contain some adult subject matter.

HPV vaccination rates in Nevada lag behind the national average. For teen girls in Nevada, 27 percent are getting the full series of shots compared to 33 percent nationally. For teen boys, only 7 percent in Nevada are vaccinated against HPV, which is just half of the national average.

Also, here is the abstract for the study Heidi Parker mentions in our interview, which found that girls who were not vaccinated against HPV participated in riskier sexual behavior.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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