MONTREAL, March 4, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – March 4th is the International HPV Awareness Day (IHAD) led by the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS). This year’s One Less Worry campaign aims to address the stigma that can act as a barrier to raising awareness of HPV, and show us how we can beat it. By encouraging conversations about HPV and communicating clearly:
We CAN eliminate HPV and create one less worry for our world.
Three out of four people will contract at least one type of HPV in their lifetime. Some types of HPV might lead to any of nine different cancers, including cancer of the tonsils, vocal cords, tongue, throat, anus, cervix, vulva, vagina, and penis. The good news is that we have a proven cancer prevention tool at our disposal. HPV vaccines are safe and effective in protecting people from HPV and HPV-associated diseases. Also, cervical cancer screening detects HPV-related cancers and pre-cancers, making effective treatment possible. Unfortunately, many Canadians still face barriers to accessing HPV vaccination.
Males were only included in 2018 into already existing school-based HPV vaccination programs that have been up and running for females since 2007 in Canada. Because of the delay in making these programs gender neutral, achieving equitable protection from HPV-associated diseases has been far from achieved.
Currently, many provinces/territories have opted to expand their programs and give free access to the HPV vaccine up to and including the age of 26, but specifically for men who have sex with men (MSM), instead of opening it up to all males. This has created ethical dilemmas. Requiring someone to openly identify as MSM is stigmatizing and excludes heterosexual males who remain equally at risk of getting HPV. To close this gap, HPV vaccines should be available across Canada to ALL Canadians up to and including the age of 26, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation. All Canadians deserve the same access to this cancer prevention tool, especially in consideration of the fact that while there is an HPV tests for females, there is no test to detect HPV for males.
We have the tools to beat HPV, with awareness, equitable HPV vaccine programs, cervical screening and management. We are on the brink of eliminating almost all cases of HPV-related cancer. The best defence is to get the HPV vaccine.
For more information: https://hpvglobalaction.org/hpv-info/
About HPV Global Action
Founded in 2006, we raise awareness of sex-positive inclusive sexual and reproductive health through the implementation of comprehensive programs, while emphasizing HPV and its potential consequences. We empower culturally and ideologically diverse communities across the globe through the dissemination of critical, evidence-based knowledge. We bring together provincial/territorial, federal, and global leaders to provide solutions on best practices and policies on HPV prevention, cervical screening and access to treatment.
To Contact us: [email protected] / 1-514-235-2397
SOURCE HPV Global Action