The Importance About International HPV Awareness Day

Cervical cancer caused the death of 854 women in the UK from 2016 to 2018. This dreaded disease remains one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the country. According to Cancer Research UK, cervical cancer can be prevented in 99.8% cases when issued the HPV Vaccine. 

In England, young adults, both male and female, aged 12 to 13 are offered the first dose of HPV vaccination and they receive the second dose after six to 24 months. Miles pharmacy offers this vaccination at our Travel Clinic in Epsom.

The British government observes International HPV Awareness Day together with the rest of the world every March 4. The event brings together different governmental and health organisations, charities, and individuals to raise awareness about cancer caused by human papillomavirus. 

If you want to understand more about HPV and how to prevent it, here are the things that you need to know.  

What Is HPV?
The human papillomavirus is a cluster of viruses which can harm the skin and all moist membranes of the human body. It is most commonly found in the cervix, but it can also affect the mouth, throat, and anus. 

There are over 200 strains of HPV in existence, a staggering number which accounts for why it is also referred to as the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease around the globe, as humans can pass it to others through sexual contact. 

Aside from cervical cancer, HPV can also cause oral, penile, throat, and anal cancer. It may also cause genital warts in infected individuals. 

How Does the UK Government Address the HPV Problem?
In 2008, the British government launched a nationwide vaccination campaign which inoculated 12 to 13-year-old school-age girls with the HPV vaccine. 

Since that time, approximately 2.5 million girls have received protection against the diseases caused by certain HPV strains. The distribution of the HPV vaccine has also helped reduce the infection rate in women by at least 90% in recent years. 

While infections in women significantly dropped over the past decade, men remained unprotected from the virus. Since it can also cause reproductive cancers for males, HPV vaccinations were also introduced for boys in 2019. 

Because of calculated government campaigns and the observance of International HPV Awareness Day each year on a broad scale, more people across the UK have learned about the existence of the HPV virus. It has also allowed more people to arrive at the understanding that HPV diseases can be prevented and completely eradicated through proper vaccination.