HPV Update from our Youth Programs Intern

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This blog post is by Annie Jiang, OSBHA's Summer Youth Programs Intern. Annie is a student at Reed College. As an education lover, she strives to make education more accessible and fun to students so that students are able to enjoy the rewarding nature of knowledge. 

Cancer, the disease that everyone fears, is not curable yet. However, scientists and medical practitioners have developed effective vaccination against one type of cancer, human papillomavirus, known as HPV. Since the HPV vaccine was produced and marketed, there witnesses a steadily decreasing number of HPV symptoms and cases (HPV Infection in Oregon). Unfortunately, a lot of people stick to the belief that HPV, just like any other cancer type, cannot be treated, and are not aware of the useful solution to HPV. Such lack of knowledge about the HPV vaccine causes unnecessary death from the cancer. 

At the Oregon School-Based Health Alliance, we believe that the youth voice is a critical component that informs our programming, policy, and advocacy; we create opportunities for youth to get involved in advocating for school-based health services and equitable healthcare for students across Oregon. Some of the benefits of having a School-Based Health Centers are being able to see a health care provider without having to miss school, access to mental health providers, and it’s available for all students whether they have insurance or not. As a medical education study shows, youth-led HPV prevention has a positive influence on peers’ knowledge about HPV and its prevention methods as well as their support for each other in terms of getting vaccinated (A New Peer-to-Peer Educational Model to Increase Knowledge and Acceptability of HPV Vaccination).

As a youth program intern at OSBHA, I have been impressed with the organization’ strategic dedication to students’ health. We design the HPV prevention curriculum in an approaching, informative way to students so that the students, connected by Student Health Advocates, become more familiar with HPV prevention tactics and comfortable about sharing their vaccination concerns and experiences with one another. Working with passionate Student Health Advocates and supportive OSBHA staff further contributes to my enthusiasm with student health and disease control, including HPV prevention I’ve been working on over the summer.

For the Oregon HPV Vaccination Week, our staff at Oregon School Based Health Alliance strive to strengthen the tie with and encourage Student Health Advocates to work on peer-to-peer HPV education and improve HPV vaccination rate among youths! HPV Vaccination Week, here we go!