HPV is a common virus that affects young men and women. It can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and other cancers in women, and HPV-related cancers and genital warts in men. Vaccination against HPV can help protect young people from developing these cancers and disease later in life. Free vaccinations for 12-13 year old males and females are currently being rolled out in schools, with a catch up program until the end of 2014 for males 14-15 years of age.
The free HPV vaccine is available through schools, and will also be available through community health clinics in some remote areas. If a child’s education is not school-based (such as for those undertaking online studies), parents and guardians can contact their local health department for advice on where to get the vaccine.
We asked proud Warlpiri woman Jacinta Price why young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should get the vaccination.
“If we start early with vaccinations like this, we can set them up for later in life. As a parent, I want to give them the best opportunity for their health.”
“It’s also important for young Indigenous people to get the full three doses of the vaccine for protection against cancers and diseases later in life.”
Jacinta is also urging people to find out more about the HPV vaccinations.
“Visit the HPV website where there are specific resources for Indigenous people, including in various languages.”