Sexual Health

Isabella

Female
Age at interview: 16

Brief outline: Isabella received the HPV vaccine in Year 8, aged 14 as part of the National HPV Vaccination Programme for girls aged 14-18. A nurse talked during school assembly about HPV and the vaccination programme. But Isabella feels that an early school assembly may not be the best place and time to provide sexual health information as young people may be tired and not very attentive to what has been said.

Background: Isabella is a full-time student, doing A –levels. She lives at home with her parents. Ethnic background: white.

Audio & video

Isabella received the HPV vaccine when she was in Year 8, aged 14 as part of the National HPV Vaccination Programme for girls aged 14-18. Information about the HPV vaccine was provided by a nurse during school assembly. Isabella said that the aim was to provide a brief, general talk about the HPV virus, cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine. She was given an information leaflet and a consent form to take to her parents. Her mother thought it was a good idea to be protected against cervical cancer and gave her consent. Initially Isabella was a bit unwilling to have the HPV vaccine because she dislikes injections, but she is happy to have had it done. She had three injections each at three months interval. She didn’t experience any bad reactions, besides a sore arm.
 
Isabella remembers that a number of girls at her school didn’t have the vaccine because their parents were concerned about the possible effects it might have on their daughter’s sexual behavior. Isabella disagrees with this view and says that most girls that age aren’t having sex and that, in any case, it is better to be protected.
 
In general she thinks that the National HPV Vaccination Programme provided enough information and advice but thinks that a follow-up session is needed, after the vaccination programme is completed, to remind people what they’d learnt from the nurse’s talk. Isabella also thinks that an early school assembly may not be the best place and time to provide sexual health information as young people may be tired and not very attentive to what has been said. 

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