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Seattle University

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Brazil: Public Health, Race, and Human Rights


In 2014, the Brazilian government began supplying free, preventative human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines for girls between the ages of 9 and 13. This public health campaign has the potential to greatly reduce the high HPV infection rate in Brazil, but without targeted education and information to supplement this medical intervention the program is predicted to have a smaller impact. This study aims to assess how well information about the HPV vaccine is currently reaching young Brazilian girls and their families. Data was gathered by interviewing professionals who work in STD education, women’s issues, and healthcare advocacy, as well as one mother of a young girl. By speaking to this array of people a clearer picture of some of the major stumbling blocks that impede the realization of the government’s 80% HPV vaccination goal developed. The current national healthcare campaign is highly focused on cancer-prevention, which provides a good incentive for many Brazilian families to vaccinate their daughters, but does not account for the relationship between HPV and sex. This study categorizes and explores some of the other social determinants, or factors, that contribute to a family’s decision to vaccinate and, therefore, the overall future sexual health of Brazil.


Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health | Women's Studies



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