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UA Center, Institute Offering HPV Education Forum

Several UA centers have come together to offer a free public forum about human papillomavirus and the vaccine.

By University Communications January 26, 2010

Human papillomavirus infections are the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States and, to inform the pubilc about the disease and ways to prevent it, several University of Arizona centers are sponsoring an education forum.  

The HPV Educational Forum 2010 is being presented by the Women’s Studies Advisory Council, Southwest Institute for Research on Women and the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health through a partnership with the Marana Health Center.

The forum will be held Feb. 3 from 5:30 to 7:45 at Marana's Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library, located at 7800 N. Schisler Dr. The event is free geared toward parents of middle and high school girls, middle and high school students and other members of the public.  

The community forum will feature a panel of speakers that will provide an overview of human anatomy and HPV, followed by information about the HPV vaccines.

Speakers are:

Dr. Francisco Garcia, director of the UA National Center of Excellence in Women's Health and a UA Distinguished Professor, who has appointments in obstetrics and gynecology, public health, pharmacy and the Mexican American Studies and Research Center.
Dr. Jennifer Vanderleest, a clinical assistant professor in the UA department of family and community edicine
Dr. Mazda Shirazi, a UA assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine and medical pharmacology
Dr. Mary Tocyap, a pediatrician at the Marana Health Center

The panel will cover both the benefits and disadvantages associated with the vaccination, then provide breakout sessions to discuss the issues in more detail.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 million people in the United States are infected with HPV, noting that 6 million people are infected annually. Instances of women contracting HPV is of particular concern, as the disease can cause cervical cancer.

HPV also has been linked to other forms of lesions and warts. In men, the virus is linked to oral cancer and the development of male vaccines is not well understood, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil for men beginning in September 2009.

During the education forum, the panel of experts also will speak about preventative measures and vaccines that are currently available, such as Gardasil, and Cervarix, which is expected to be on the market soon.