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Montefiore Launches HPV Vaccine Clinic

New York City, NY (April 4, 2007) -- The only HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Vaccine Clinic of its kind has been launched at Montefiore Medical Center. It will routinely provide vaccines, education and counseling for all women, ages 19-26, in order to help reduce the spread of the sexually-transmitted HPV infection and ultimately the possible onset of cervical cancer.

"Our goal is to reach the young women who need the vaccine most and let them know that this service is available," said Mark Einstein, MD, director, Clinical Research, of Montefiore's Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health. "We want our patients to leave here not only vaccinated but better educated about HPV and what this virus can possibly lead to."  He also pointed out that the vaccine is administered in three doses and is offered at the clinic with print and video educational materials in both English and Spanish.

Dr. Einstein emphasized the importance of the vaccine because studies have shown that 80 percent of women will be infected with HPV in their lifetime. "While the vaccine has been surrounded by controversy over whether or not it should be mandated, right now, not enough women will seek it and the numbers of women who get cervical cancer will not go down significantly," added Dr. Einstein.  "It will take decades before these numbers decrease."

This clinic is being launched to lead the battle against HPV after numerous medical groups recommend routine vaccination for females ages 11-26.

Dr. Einstein pointed out that this clinic will be an important service to the community because cervical cancer rates are much higher in the Bronx than in most parts of the country and the rest of the city. Rates are highest because women in the Bronx are not being as vigilant in getting screened for cervical cancer after becoming sexually active.

An important point is that the vaccine helps prevent women from getting infected with the "high risk" HPV types that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer. It also provides protection against the HPV strains that cause 90 percent of cervical warts. The vaccine, however, does not eliminate current HPV infections and is designed to only protect women before they become sexually active, according to Dr. Einstein.

The clinic, which is located at the Montefiore Medical Tower at 1695 Eastchester Road on the corner of Blondell Avenue in the Bronx, is open on Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. To schedule an appointment for vaccination, call 718.405.8390 (Option 2).  The vaccine is also available for girls under 19 years of age at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore. Additional clinics will be rolled out in the next few months at other locations in the Bronx and Westchester.

Dr. Einstein is also chairman of the National Cervical Cancer Education Campaign for the Gynecological Cancer Foundation, vice chair of the Education Resource Panel for the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and a member of the writing group for the American Cancer Society guidelines for use of the HPV vaccine.

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#9/4/07