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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


FERNANDEZ GONZALEZ, Loreto. HPV vaccine implementation in Chile: an appraisal from the social determinants of health model. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2017, vol.145, n.12, pp.1605-1609. ISSN 0034-9887.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common neoplasm in women worldwide and its incidence is associated with profound social inequities. In Chile, it is the second cause of death in women of reproductive age. The Chilean clinical guideline identifies the vaccine against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) as the main preventive measure. Since 2014, the Ministry of Health has implemented free immunization against HPV for girls and female adolescents. This article critically analyzes this public policy from the viewpoint of health equity, using as framework the Social Determinants of Health Model. Specifically, we address the structural determinants of income and gender, which act as material and social barriers for achieving immunization, affecting protection against cervical cancer. These barriers correspond to the high cost of the vaccine, and social attitudes/cultural beliefs towards sexual behavior in Latin America and Chile that affect the acceptability of vaccination. The Social Determinants of Health Model constitutes a useful tool for identifying health inequities and understanding public policy from an equity viewpoint that complements the biomedical and epidemiological understanding of disease. In this topic, the initiative aims to strengthen the idea of health as a human right and health promotion as an essential function of public health policy.

Keywords : Health Equity; Health Policy; Papillomavirus Vaccines; Social Determinants of Health; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms.

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