HPV stands for human papilloma virus. It is a very common virus. There are about 100 types of HPV that affect different parts of the body. About 30 types of HPV can affect the genitals — including the vulva, vagina, cervix, penis and scrotum — as well as the rectum and anus. About 75% of sexually active people have at least one HPV infection in their lifetime. There is no treatment or cure for HPV infection.
It’s estimated that HPV infects more than 550,000 Canadians each year. For most people, HPV causes no symptoms and eventually goes away without treatment.1
Each year 3,800 new cancer cases in Canada are attributed to HPV; by 2042, this number will increase to 6,600.1 HPV infection increases the risk of developing six different types of cancer. Cervical cancer is almost exclusively caused by HPV and HPV infection is also the cause of other anogenital cancers and oropharyngeal cancers.2 To help reduce the burden of HPV-related cancers, Canada has set a target of achieving 90% HPV vaccination coverage of adolescents by 17 years of age, by 2025.52
Yes, Each year 3,800 new cancer cases in Canada are attributed to HPV; by 2042, this number will increase to 6,600.1 HPV infection increases the risk of developing six different types of cancer. Cervical cancer is almost exclusively caused by HPV and HPV infection is also the cause of other anogenital cancers and oropharyngeal cancers.2 To help reduce the burden of HPV-related cancers, Canada has set a target of achieving 90% HPV vaccination coverage of adolescents by 17 years of age, by 2025.53
The HPV-9 vaccine protects against 9 strains (types) of human papillomavirus. These 9 strains may cause up to:4
- 92% of cervical cancers
- 75% of anal cancers
- 57% of penile cancers
- 72% of vaginal cancers
- 25% of head and neck cancers
- 90% of genital warts
In British Columbia:
- Women are eligible to get the HPV at no cost if they receive their vaccine before the age of 19.
- Heterosexual men are currently eligible to receive their vaccine before the age of 19 and gay men are eligible to receive the vaccine up until the age of 26.
- In BC, the HPV Vaccine is administered through a in school public vaccination program that started in 2008 for girls and 2017 for boys.
Yes, National Immunization Guide says gay men are about 20 times more likely than heterosexual men to develop anal cancer. Rates of anal cancer among HIV-positive men are higher than rates of cervical cancer among women, even in countries with the highest cervical cancer rates.5
Yes, Health Canada extended approval for Gardasil, an HPV vaccine, in August 2020 to include men between 27-45. If fact the government highly recommends gay men to receive the HPV vaccine to better prevent cancers later in life.
Cost is the largest deterrent. The HPV vaccine costs approximately $600 dollars. Since vaccination coverage is fairly new for school aged boys there is a significant population of gay men that are currently not currently covered.
BC does have catch-up programs for high-risk groups: HIV+, trans, MSM populations and those who are their questioning sexual orientation.
It’s not hard. We won with PreP fight and we have so much more potential. Letting the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, know that this matters is the perfect start.
By signing the petition and sending letters to our elected officials we can BC’s government know that cancer prevention matters.