New study shows lack of HPV vaccine recommendations in Appalachia
The human papillomavirus (HPV) continues to dominate medical headlines as it's a major risk to sexually active individuals. There has also been a lot of controversy surrounding the HPV vaccine and whether or not parents should have their daughters get the treatment, which medical professionals believe can protect against the disease.
Now, a new study reveals that whether or not the shot is recommended may depend on where the patient lives. Researchers from Ohio State University are saying that pediatricians in the Appalachia area are less likely to encourage parents to give their daughters the HVP vaccine in comparison to other regions.
However, the study's authors are concerned about what this lack of support could mean for girls once they become sexually active.
"We found that pediatricians in Appalachia were less likely than others to think their patients were even susceptible to HPV," said Janice Krieger, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University. "That's a huge problem. If pediatricians in Appalachia don't think HPV infection is an issue for their patients – when we know that it is – it is going to be difficult to convince women to get the HPV vaccine for themselves or their children."
Additionally, the study's authors noted that women in Appalachia were less likely to be educated on the risk of HPV, which could potentially lead to cervical cancer. Because of the lack of information, more women may not ask their physicians about the possibility of getting the vaccine before it's too late.
In an effort to protect one's sexual health, it's important to have all of the information necessary to protect oneself against risks.