Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection according to the Center for Disease Control. While about 90% of infections are asymptomatic, some strains of the virus can cause cancer and other benign diseases. Vaccines that can protect against some of the more dangerous strains are available, but patient compliance for the three injections in the series is low. In 2013, a national survey found that 57% of girls aged 13–17 years had received at least 1 dose of the HPV vaccine series, but only 38% had received all 3 doses in the series.
Monroe Plan for Medical Care sought to increase HPV vaccination compliance among its young, at-risk members. By targeting young members and their guardians with personalized engagement, including text (SMS) messaging, the health plan hoped to increase the number of young boys and girls who not only scheduled an appointment to get the vaccine, but also who completed all three injections in the series. The results were surprising.