The FACTS about HPV
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What is HPV?
Human Papillomavirus is a highly contagious virus that lives on the skin. The virus is extremely contagious and it is estimated that 80% of the population will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime. The majority of people infected by HPV will not experience any serious health issues, but if the virus does not resolve, it can lead to other, more serious diseases.
Does HPV cause cancer?
HPV is the causal agent of around 5% of all cancer cases worldwide, along with genital warts and laryngeal papillomas.
HPV has been recognised and publicised as the cause of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers, causing many to believe that HPV is a women-only issue. HPV is increasingly being acknowledged as a cause of specific cancers which affect many other body parts, including anal, penile, and head and neck cancer. These cancers are rising dramatically in men.
Is there a vaccination?
A gender-neutral virus needs a gender-neutral vaccine.
We are campaigning to introduce global, gender-neutral vaccination to protect all children from the devastating carcinogen, HPV. While successful vaccination programmes for girls have been initiated in many countries, much less has been done to vaccinate males. We believe that vaccinating females only is inadequate, discriminatory, and fails to acknowledge that men must be included in policy in order to significantly decrease HPV-related cancers.
By taking action now, we have the power to stop an epidemic while reducing the economic and social burdens of treatment for cancer and genital warts. In most countries, boys are not routinely vaccinated against HPV, but this is changing. An increasing number of countries are now recommending vaccinating boys, including Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland. In the USA, we successfully advocated for the vaccine approval for males, but vaccine rates are still below 50%. In the UK boys are not vaccinated at all.
The world has used vaccines to eradicate many infectious diseases such as smallpox and polio–it is time that we add HPV and the devastation it causes to the list.
How to Take Action:
- Sign the Change.org petition here to introduce HPV vaccination for boys to stop many preventable cancers
- If you are a parent, ask your provider to talk with you about vaccinating both your male and female children against HPV
- Write to your MP in support of gender-neutral vaccination. Explain that it is not fair to not protect boys against a virus that affects both genders
- Encourage your paediatrician or general practitioner to join the growing coalition of doctors and scientists that support gender-neutral vaccination
- You can download the CASE FOR ACTION document by clicking here
- Support the NOMEN and the efforts of the NOMAN Campaign by clicking here and donating
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