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.
Wide Open Spaces is a new series of articles to be included in our program’s monthly newsletter starting this month. These articles will address ways to improve HPV vaccination with rural communities. We invite guest contributors to share information on how they are working to improve HPV vaccination in rural areas. If you are interested in contributing, please email us at PreventHPV@stjude.org.
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.
St. Jude convened a think tank of key allies and partners to discuss and catalyze efforts to improve HPV cancer prevention with rural communities. More information on outcomes will be shared in the future.
For more information, email PreventHPV@stjude.org.