Joseph A. Bocchini Jr.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has partnered with DoSomething.org to create a new national digital campaign aimed at teenagers and young adults to encourage them to talk to their parents and guardians about HPV vaccination.
“HPV is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact and can infect anyone who has ever had a sexual encounter. That fact makes some parents and their children feel uncomfortable talking about HPV vaccination,” National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) President Joseph A. Bocchini Jr., MD, said in a news release. “Because HPV infection is so common — more than 80% of sexually active men and women will get HPV in their lifetime — we have to break down communication barriers and help foster these conversations.”
HPV is the most common STD and is the primary cause of cervical cancer, as well as other cancers of the mouth and throat and genital warts, according to the release. In the United States, an estimated 14 million new infections occur each year, and 79 million individuals — mostly in their teens and early 20s — are infected with HPV. The HPV vaccination is recommended by the CDC for individuals aged 11 years and older.
The campaign encourages young people to make a card to give to their parents or guardians that will include a keyword. The cards can be handmade or are downloadable through the campaign website. Parents can then text the keyword and find out more information about HPV and the importance of vaccination.
Participants can upload a picture of themselves and be entered to win a $3,000 scholarship, according to the release.
“We are very excited to partner with DoSomething.org on this campaign to help teens and young adults talk more openly and freely with their parents and guardians about protecting themselves against a sexually transmitted infection.” Marla Dalton, CAE, NFID executive director and CEO, said in the release. “This is really about preventing cancer — what could be more important than that?”
The campaign will be active through Sept. 17, according to the release.