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This project sought to understand the attitudes of parents, General Practitioners, and Aboriginal Health Workers regarding the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV is a sexually transmissible infection and the HPV vaccine has proven to be effective in preventing HPV. The vaccine is however controversial because it must be administered to girls before they become sexually active.
The project involved three participant populations including Anglo, Chinese, and Aboriginal participants. The timing of the project coincided with the HPV vaccine mass immunisation which meant Aboriginal Health Workers from the two participating Aboriginal regions were able to educate their community members about HPV and the vaccine. This resulted in a high uptake of the vaccine in the Aboriginal regions.
The project also revealed the cultural inappropriateness of educational resources for the Central Australian population. This resulted in the development of resources in several languages common to this region. Culturally appropriate resources were also developed for the Aboriginal population in Victoria.
The project was managed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and involved input from many partner organisations such as The University of Melbourne, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), and the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services (NTDHCS).
Abstract adapted from the Lowitja Institute
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