Sexually transmitted diseases
One very important development in cancer and immunology in the past 15 years has been the development and approval of vaccines that prevent the infection of Human Papilloma Virus, types of which have been shown to cause cervical cancer and genital warts. HPV vaccines are now recommended for young adolescent females starting at age 9, and more recently, young adolescent males as well. Despite the strong clinical evidence supporting such immunization, uptake of the HPV vaccines in all age ranges in the U.S. have been disappointing due to misunderstanding, confusion, and misinformation about the vaccines in the U.S. As part of a HPV research center funded by NIAID (National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases) headed by our colleague Dr. Cosette Wheeler (CWheeler@salud.unm.edu), we have established a project to develop a website designed to provide accurate information about HPV vaccines and improve decision making by parents and their adolescent girls about vaccine uptake. This project is an example of how we employ web technology to improve the diffusion of an important medical innovation.