Rural life is a choice made by 1 in 5 people, but they don’t choose to be at higher risk of cancers, including HPV cancers. We must do more to make sure those living in rural America are protected. People living in rural areas possess many strengths. It is these same strengths that can make them feel invincible when it comes to cancer, but that is not the case. HPV vaccination is cancer prevention for people living in rural communities, too. We must work with people in rural communities to understand how to change the pattern of low HPV vaccination rates and high HPV cancer rates.

Upcoming Events

Preventing HPV Cancers with Rural Communities: Updates and Opportunities

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

To get a link to register for this meeting, email PreventHPV@stjude.org.


image of cover of flyer

National Rural Health Day is November 16, 2023

In a LinkedIn post, Dr. Heather M. Brandt, Director of the HPV Cancer Prevention Program, draws on her Iowa roots to encourage people who live in rural communities to prevent HPV cancers through vaccination. 

Download flyer, social media images

You have the power to prevent cancer.

HPV can lead to six types of cancer. The good news? HPV vaccination prevents almost all cases of HPV cancers. Ask your doctor about HPV vaccination — it’s safe, it works, and it lasts a lifetime.

Vaccinate on-time. Vaccinate for life.

You can help prevent cancer by encouraging loved ones to get vaccinated against HPV. On-time HPV vaccination is recommended for children aged 9-12 years old. HPV vaccination is safe and works. Talk with your doctor today about HPV vaccination.

It’s safe. It works. It’s long-lasting.

HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of HPV cancers. It’s safe and works to prevent HPV cancers after more than 17 years of monitoring and research. You can help prevent cancer by ensuring your loved ones are vaccinated against HPV. Talk with your doctor today about HPV vaccination.

A vaccine that prevents cancer

Share the facts and encourage others to get their loved ones vaccinated.  HPV vaccination is safe, effective, and durable. It prevents six types of cancer. Talk to your doctor.

Past events

St. Jude Rural HPV Vaccination Introductory Meeting (1/23/2023)

In January, the St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program hosted an introductory rural HPV vaccination meeting. This meeting brought together thought leaders, allies and partners interested in improving HPV vaccination with rural communities. The meeting featured ignite-style talks by six experts in rural health, rural cancer prevention and HPV vaccination. Participants discussed thoughts and next steps for how to move forward in improving HPV vaccination coverage in rural areas. 

Wide Open Spaces: Improving HPV Cancer Prevention with Rural Communities (March 2023)

This seminar focused on actions to improve HPV cancer prevention – and specifically HPV vaccination – within rural communities in the United States.

Think Tank

St. Jude convened a think tank of key thought leaders and partners to discuss and catalyze efforts to improve HPV cancer prevention with rural communities. From March to August 2023, the think tank met to recommend priority action steps.

The priority action steps are:

  • Promote starting HPV vaccination at age 9 in rural communities. One particularly promising approach supported by the think tank is starting HPV vaccination at age 9. The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable has developed a suite of resources to promote starting at age 9. We will focus on how these existing materials may be appropriate for rural communities and explore adapting for greater relevance.
  • Compile and share existing resources for addressing HPV vaccination with rural communities. We can act now by using existing materials as we develop new and adapt existing resources. This will include identifying existing best practices, such as programs, interventions, campaigns, and other activities that are already working.
  • Develop or adapt health care provider and health care professional HPV vaccination training resources for those serving rural communities. A strong recommendation from a health care provider is a strong predictor of HPV vaccination coverage. This remains true in rural communities as well. We will compile existing training resources as a starting point and then adapt for rural-serving health care providers.
  • Explore policy influences on HPV vaccination in rural areas. Policies at different levels influence vaccination coverage. We will explore strategies for recommended policies to support efforts. We have previously examined policies, in general, that drive HPV vaccination coverage, which will serve as a starting point.
  • Develop, test, and disseminate easy-to-use messages for rural audiences. We know one size does not fit all when it comes to rural communities. However, messages that resonate with rural life are likely to be more effective. We will focus on developing such messages.
  • Review and update existing resources and data on HPV vaccination and HPV cancers in rural communities. Previous publications and reports on the status of HPV vaccination and HPV cancers in rural communities require updating and more regular monitoring. We understand such resources are useful for focusing our efforts and also tracking progress.

The St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program is implementing programming and activities in line with these action steps to improve HPV vaccination coverage with rural communities. We will continue to work with thought leaders and partners in these efforts. We welcome your participation and engagement.

For more information, email PreventHPV@stjude.org.