Coalition of partners to provide free HPV vaccines, variety of screenings at INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair
INDIANAPOLIS – During the INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair, Cervical Cancer Free-Indiana and community partners will provide free HPV vaccinations, while cervical cancer and HPV education and blood pressure and body mass index screenings also will be offered.
The HPV vaccine will be available to people ages 9 to 26.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), incidence rates of HPV-associated cancers have continued to rise, with approximately 39,000 new HPV-associated cancers now diagnosed each year in the United States. Although HPV vaccines can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers, vaccination rates remain low across the country, with just 41.9 percent of girls and 28.1 percent of boys completing the recommended vaccine series.
New guidelines from the CDC recommend that children ages 11 to 12 should receive two doses of the HPV vaccine at least six months apart. Adolescents and young adults ages 15 and older should continue to complete the three-dose series.
Peer-educators will be on site at the health fair to provide one-on-one cervical cancer and HPV education. Information will be provided to individuals about the benefits of the HPV vaccination and its effect on cancer prevention.
The peer educators will also provide information on resources to minimize barriers to screening, low-cost to no-cost vaccinations for follow-up HPV inoculations and related health services.
Also, the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health will provide free blood pressure screenings and body mass index (BMI) screenings at the health fair. A health coach will provide results and discuss healthy lifestyle choices.
“The screenings are available to women and men,” Tisha Reid, associate director of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, said. “Our health coaches will provide follow-up services to assist individuals in getting their second HPV vaccine and improving their overall personal health.”
The HPV vaccinations will be given inside the center’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW), a 40-foot mobile health unit, which is making its first appearance at the health fair.
Cervical Cancer-Free Indiana and its partners–Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Marion County Public Health Department, IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and Eskenazi Health–are collaborating to deliver these free services.
The organizations will be located in booth 327 in Halls J and K in the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis.
The INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair, held in conjunction with the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, begins with an opening ceremony at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 13. The health fair’s hours are:
• 4-8 p.m. Thursday, July 13
• 1-7 p.m. Friday, July 14
• 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, July 15
• Noon-6 p.m. Sunday, July 16
About Cervical Cancer-Free Indiana
Cervical Cancer-Free Indiana is an initiative designed to raise awareness, increase screenings for cervical cancer and increase rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination with the ultimate goal of eliminating cervical cancer.