A few years ago, the Vaccine Education Center (VEC) started a Web page devoted to human papillomavirus (HPV) at www.prevent-HPV.org. Since its inception, we have accumulated a wealth of questions submitted by readers. People have many questions about HPV; however, the concerns are not just related to the vaccine and its safety:
- Does HPV infection mean that my partner was unfaithful?
- How can my child have recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) if I have never been diagnosed with HPV?
- If someone has HPV can I or my children get it by being near that person?
Indeed, questions often relate to current situations that an individual or couple is experiencing following a diagnosis of genital warts or an abnormal Pap test. Because the focus of discussions in the provider’s office may often center on prevention of HPV through vaccination, more personal and relationship-related outcomes of this prevalent infection may not be discussed. However, it would be reasonable for potential future outcomes related to the social implications of HPV infections to be considered when making vaccine decisions.
The effects of HPV infection on individual lives and the relationships of couples are explored in the documentary, Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic. Produced by Lumiere Productions, this moving 80-minute documentary features five women affected by HPV. Each story offers a different aspect of how HPV can affect and change not only the lives of those affected by cervical cancer, but also those of their families and friends. The film is a good tool for helping parents and young adults understand the implications of HPV infection and for starting a conversation about HPV and the vaccine.
Watch the documentary for free
As a special opportunity for VEC newsletter readers, the full-length documentary can be viewed online free of charge while supplies last. If you have not had the opportunity to watch this film, please take advantage of this special offer.
Share the documentary in your community
Once you have watched the film, you may want to share it with family, friends or patients. The producers have found a variety of innovative ways to work with people who wish to share the movie in their own communities. Check the film website for available opportunities.
Watch a video interview with the producers
The VEC was honored to interview Frederic Lumiere and Mark Hefti, producers of Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic. During the 41-minute videotaped interview, the producers shared their personal experiences making the documentary, what they learned about HPV, and what they had to cut but wished they could have kept. The interview is available on the VEC’s playlist on YouTube. To see the questions and portions of the answers in text, visit the Parents PACK newsletter article for which the interview was completed.
HPV can be devastating. The women and families featured in this documentary have done society a great service by sharing their stories.