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February 4, 2016

For Information Contact

  • Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Northern Region Public Information Officer
    703-530-2627

Prince William Health District Aims to Prevent Cervical and Other HPV-Related Cancers
Efforts Start with Increasing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Rates

Prince William Health District (PWHD) is working to prevent cervical cancer in the community, by collaborating with community stakeholders to increase Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates. A group of dedicated staff and community partners in the Greater Prince William Area have been working to develop and implement an Action Plan that focuses on educating health care providers, gathering data and increasing effective HPV-related cancer prevention messaging to the public. A grant from the National Association of City and County Health Officials is helping fund the effort.

Dr. Alison Ansher, Health Director of the Prince William Health District, says, “The Health District is hard at work to increase HPV vaccination rates in our community to prevent cancer. We are reaching out to health care providers, young people and to the general public to educate everyone and foster awareness of the importance of this issue.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S., an estimated 26,000 new cases of HPV-related cancers are diagnosed. While most of the cases occur in women, more than one third of the cases occur in men. Despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines to protect against the most harmful strains of HPV, vaccination rates remain low.

While various strains of HPV can cause milder symptoms that clear up on their own, some can cause cervical and several other cancers. That is why HPV vaccine is recommended routinely for males and females beginning at 11-12 years of age. Vaccinations will help prevent HPV-related diseases, including cervical cancer. Talk to your health care provider for recommendations.

Manassas Park and Prince William County both recently passed proclamations to support local cervical health awareness and prevention efforts. See the proclamations from Prince William County, here: http://on.fb.me/1WPEiLj, and from Manassas Park, here: http://on.fb.me/1OVk53A.

To learn more about the HPV grant project, contact Jennifer Willson at jennifer.willson@vdh.virginia.gov or Kelly Andrews at kelly.andrews@vdh.virginia.gov. For more information on the PWHD, follow the Health District on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PrinceWilliamHealthDistrict or on Twitter @PrinceWilliamHD. PWHD serves residents of Prince William County, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.


Last Updated: 02-17-2016

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