Pole dancers turn out to fight breast cancer
The Athens Vertical Pole Dance Academy is teaming up with the first annual Women Who OWN IT to raise money for BreastFest Athens. According to the Red and Black, the night will include various performances and demonstrations against breast cancer.
Office of Global Programs in Sustainability encourages students to go on ‘storytelling’ study abroads
The Red and Black reports that the Office of Global Programs in Sustainability encourages its students to study abroad in places that have stories to tell. Students are more successful when they can hear the story firsthand, as opposed to hearing or seeing it in the classroom setting.
Georgia Bikes Hosting 2nd Annual Georgia Bike Summit in Athens October 7-9th
Athens, recently named a “Bicycle Friendly Community,” will host the 2nd annual Georgia Bike Summit. According to the Weekly, the conference will address how Georgia can create a safer and more accessible space for cyclists.
UGA Women’s Studies Hosts WAGG Conference
The University of Georgia’s Institute for Women’s Studies will host its 4th annual Women and Girls in Georgia Conference on Saturday, Oct. 8. According to the Flagpole, this year’s theme is women and the economic crisis and topics will range from worker justice to childcare.
Three minute interview: A. E. Stallings, Genius Poet
According to the Red and Black, 1990 University graduate and poet A.E. Stallings has received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation award. The fellowship gives recipients $500,000 and the chance to spend the money on furthering their creative careers.
UGA Residence Halls Face off to Help the Environment
The University of Georgia’s Office of Sustainability and University Housing are teaming up to hose the 3rd annual Green Cup Challenge. According to the Athens Patch, five residence halls will compete in diminishing their carbon footprint.
American students abroad pushed out of ‘bubbles’
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, students studying abroad often do not meet people outside of their own program, preferring to stay in their own ‘bubble’ of English-speakers instead. University student Lauren Hook resisted the bubble and explored on her own.
Art sale gets hot for ceramics student showcase
The University of Georgia’s Student Ceramic Organization will host its bi-annual pottery sale today. The proceeds will help fund the group’s trip to New York, according to the Red and Black.
Pride event a time to be seen
The University of Georgia’s Gay Lesbian or Bisexual Employees and Supporters teamed up with the Athens Pride Committee to form the first annual Athens Pride festival last weekend. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, the weekend allowed people within the LGBT community to meet each other and helped to foster tolerance.
Candlelight Vigil Held for Troy Davis at The Arch
University students and Athens locals came together at The Arch to honor the memory of Tory Davis, who was convicted of the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail and executed last Wednesday. According to the Flagpole, members of the Athens community joined UGA students from Amnesty International in showing support for Davis’ family in a candlelight vigil.
Tomorrow the University Health Center expects a surge of students seeking a free shot to protect themselves against HPV, or human papillomavirus, infection. Unbeknownst to these UGA students—and to many parents in Athens—the same vaccine is available year-round to middle- and high-school aged children.
Gardasil has been on the market since mid-2006, and within months of approval it was added to the list of immunizations covered by the federal Vaccines for Children Program. This means that low-income minors who are sexually active (or who expect to be active soon) can obtain the three-shot series at no cost.
Gardasil and a competing product, Cervarix, protect immunized people against HPV strains associated with about 70% of cervical cancers and about half of genital warts cases. The vaccines may also protect against throat, head, rectal, vulvar, and vaginal cancers linked to HPV.
“I believe every parent should protect their child against any preventable disease,” said Clarke County Nurse Manager Marcia Massengill.
Students in middle or high school have been able to receive the three-shot Gardasil regimen for free at Teen Matters clinics since 2006. In early 2010, the Clarke County Health Department stopped charging young people under 18 for Gardasil shots.
Young people don’t need parental permission if they’re already receiving family planning or STD services from Teen Matters or county health department clinics, said health educator Tamika Martin.
“When I tell them that it’s at Teen Matters and we have it,” said Martin, “then they put two and two together. Well, ‘So I don’t have to have my mom’s permission?’ No. If this is something you want to do, you have the right to go over and request it yourself.”
Parents are not always happy to hear that their kids can receive the HPV vaccine without permission.
“I didn’t know that, and I have issue with it,” said Nickie Fuentes, a manager at APS Healthcare in Lawrenceville. “I think any time a child is making a medical decision, there should be the input of an adult…I don’t see this as an emergency medical situation where it has to be made without a parent’s decision.”
Fuentes is mother to a 12-year-old daughter, Drake. She and her partner, Becky Fuentes, believe that safe-sex education will be enough to protect Drake from disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, recommends that young women aged 11 to 26 be immunized against HPV.
“This is a way of preventing a disease,” said Massengill, Clarke County’s head nurse. “It needs to be given before sexual activity for maximal protection. However, it is not a free ticket to have sex.”
“They should also remember that, even though their child may not have multiple partners, that their ultimate life partner may have had others,” she added.
Some parents worry that the vaccine may carry risks as well as benefits. Although Fuentes has had her daughter immunized against measles, mumps, and rubella, she is skeptical about the safety of Gardasil.
“I just don’t think that we recognize what the long-term impacts are on a woman’s reproductive system,” said Fuentes.
Massengil and Martin maintain that the vaccine is safe, and the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend HPV vaccination beginning at age 11 or 12.
According to the CDC, 17,160 adverse reactions have been reported following 32 million doses administered since 2006. Most of these were local and temporary; only 8% were serious, such as blood clots or the muscle-weakening Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
“The risks and side effects of this vaccine are very low,” said Massengill. “There are none that I’m aware of regarding fertility. There’s the usual arm soreness, fainting at the time of administration and possible allergies.”
The CDC advisory committee that makes immunization recommendations is considering whether HPV vaccine should be recommended for boys. The Clarke County Health Department already makes Gardasil availabile, with no charge, to boys as well as girls.
“Although boys obviously are not worried about cervical cancer, there are studies being done which are looking at the possibility of HPV causing oral, rectal and penile cancers,” said Massengill. “The prevention of warts is the key issue as well as transmitting HPV to their female partners.”