28th International Papillomavirus Conference

Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington led a series of events at the 28th International Papillomavirus Conference held Nov. 30 through Dec. 6 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She and a group of entertainment industry writers and producers held two panel discussions and a storytelling workshop for medical doctors, researchers and clinicians.

The Hollywood group included Chris Keyser, president of the Writers Guild of America, West; Jennifer Cecil, executive producer of Private Practice; Zoanne Clack, co-executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy; and Sarah Watson, co-executive producer of Parenthood.

Together with Buffington, they presented a panel discussion titled “Insiders for a Day: From Hollywood to Telenovelas” and offered a workshop on techniques from Hollywood’s master storytellers to help participants convey health information through storytelling.

According to the event’s website, the conference entailed a scientific program addressing the most recent advances across the spectrum of HPV research from basic sciences to public health. The goal was to provide a forum for the exchange of new knowledge; the discussion of the status of HPV research and its future direction; and the discussion of the impact of current strategies for the prevention and control of HPV burden and HPV-related conditions. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females, as well as the mouth and throat. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.

Hollywood, Health & Society is a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center that provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for health storylines.

Read the transcripts: Part 1 | Part 2