Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sexual Health, First Responder

In most of my blog posts I think I tend to be a bit over-idealistic. I'll do that again here, but try to follow a rational thought process. From reading the article regarding HPV vaccinations, I do see the possibility of almost if not completely eradicating HPV (assuming the vaccine works) similar to the eradication of small pox. Logically, this would require that every person eventually be vaccinated. To reach that stage, there would have to be a willingness of the majority to pass a law making this vaccine mandatory, or a mass effort using the tactics described in this article. These tactics to reach underserved high-risk populations are very well considered. It completely makes sense to target these populations in order to bring down the disparity. As this new vaccination becomes more mainstream, mainstream populations will probably adopt the norm of getting vaccinated against HPV, leaving behind members of the populations described in the article. So, this would, of course, make the disparity even wider. If this does happen down the road, it could at least lead to attention being brought to the issue.

Unfortunately, I worry that this may be the case and this problem may need to worsen in order for the proper attention to be given to it. The author's methods of working with members of at-risk populations and religious leaders to spread awareness and the sense of urgency to get the vaccination is a lot like the method of spreading breast cancer awareness that we have discussed. This means that the effectiveness of the breast cancer awareness campaign can be an indicator for the effectiveness of a campaign to promote this vaccine. The biggest problem I see is the lack of mass attention, effort and funding. Other issues like smallpox, tobacco use, and breast cancer prevention have had significant effect because of the attention and resources put into them.

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