HPV is incredibly common in the United States—at any moment, nearly 1 in 4 people have it. 75% - 80% of unvaccinated people, both men and women, will contract HPV in their lifetime.
Education and awareness regarding cervical cancer screenings and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for cancer prevention is vital to adolescents living bright futures.
For years, we have been doing work beyond teen pregnancy prevention. We are continuing to look forward and engage with parents and trusted adults, youth-serving professionals, and the medical community to inform and promote cancer prevention through HPV vaccinations. The estimated South Carolina HPV vaccination coverage for both males and females ages 13-17 years were lower the national coverage estimates.
Thankfully, more and more families and pediatricians are recognizing the importance of the HPV vaccine as time moves forward. As recently as 2016, South Carolina had the lowest coverage rates in the nation for girls up to date with HPV vaccine). In 2017, the CDC reported that South Carolina had the third-largest increase in HPV up to date status from 2016-2017. The recent increases are the result of health care providers, health systems, schools, community organizations and public health collaborating to address the issue.
While we have made improvements in adolescent vaccine coverage, our state still has more work to do! South Carolina still lags behind the national average for important adolescent vaccines, including HPV. By promoting these safe and effective vaccines, we can help ensure a healthy future for South Carolina adolescents.