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Eradicating HPV; Why Australia is Leading the Way – World Sexual Health Day 4th September

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmissible virus that affects both men and women. The virus causes a range of conditions, from warts to serious conditions such as cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, anus and oesophagus.

Some key facts about HPV

  • You can get HPV even if you’ve only had sex once or have been with just one partner
  • It is a common infection that usually clears naturally within 1–to 2 years
  • Most women who have HPV will not develop cervical cancer
  • In rare cases, an infection that doesn’t clear up can lead to cancer
  • The Cervical Screening Test prevents cervical cancer by finding HPV (before cancer has developed)
  • Women who have had the HPV vaccination still need to have a Cervical Screening Test every 5 years

HPV vaccination for girls was first included in the Australian National Immunisation Program in 2007, with vaccination for boys added in 2013. Since the introduction of the vaccine cervical cancer diagnosis numbers have decreased by almost 50% and deaths by almost 70%, with a recent study showing that Australia’s screening and vaccination programs are set to deliver a world-first result; the elimination of cervical cancer as a health threat for women.

For more information on HPV and cancer:

World Sexual Health Day – 4th September 2019