— Health officials are excited about the HPV vaccine being administered to children in Memphis, saying it will help reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
The City of Memphis and University of Memphis are partnering with Emory University to test the HPV16 vaccine for students ages 9 to 17 in a study of the virus.
“I’m very pleased to say we’ve got a vaccine in Memphis that’s been tested for HIV and that we’re going to roll it out to our entire community,” Memphis Mayor Kevin Boyd said Monday.
The study, which is funded by the Tennessee Department of Health, was announced Monday.
The researchers said they’re seeing no evidence of long-term harm to the young people.
“Our young people are so vulnerable.
They’re our future workforce.
We need to ensure they have access to care, and to prevent this virus from spreading to our youth,” said Dr. Thomas M. Daugherty, president of Emory’s Center for HIV Medicine.
Boyd said Memphis has seen a recent spike in HIV infections, but the city has not seen any deaths from the virus since the vaccine was first administered.
“This is a vaccine that’s proven to work,” Boyd said.
The study is part of a partnership between the City of Lexington and the University of Lexington to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Lexington Health, which oversees the city’s hospitals and other health facilities, will pay for the vaccine’s production.
The vaccine will be administered in Memphis beginning in July.
Marijuana is also being tested as part of the study, Boyd said, noting it has been found to be safer for some people than other marijuana strains.