Despite the existence of prevention and screening tools, not everybody is aware of HPV (Human Papilloma Viruses), that it is associated with multiple types of cancer, and of the fact that HPV-related cancers can potentially be prevented. To help address the lack of knowledge and awareness, the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) coordinated the first International HPV Awareness Day on March 4, 2018
By Corie Leifer
Give Love Not HPV Campaign Coordinator
International Papillomavirus Society*
International HPV Awareness Day
HPV Affects Everyone
HPV Affects Everyone. Regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation, the Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) affects you, either directly or indirectly.
The most widespread and common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the world, there are many different types of HPV.
Studies show that more than 80% of sexually active men and women will acquire at least one HPV infection by the age of 45 years. As an infection with HPV may have no symptoms, it can go unnoticed. Most HPV infections clear on their own, but some can lead to genital warts, and others can even lead to cancer.
HPV- Related Cancers
Cervical, anal, oral, penile, and other deadly cancers can all be related to HPV infection. HPV is associated with 1 in every 20 cancer cases worldwide including almost all cervical and anal cancers, over a third of throat cancers and a quarter of mouth cancers. This accounts for approximately 640,000 new cancer diagnoses around the world every year. 80% of these diagnoses will be cervical cancer, but head and neck cancers continue to grow in number of cases at an alarming rate.
In 2006, HPV vaccines began to be introduced worldwide. These vaccines are both effective and safe for both boys and girls. Along with screening, vaccines provide the possibility to significantly reduce the number of newly diagnosed HPV-related cancers.
International HPV Awareness Day
Despite these alarming facts and the existence of prevention and screening tools, not everybody is aware of HPV, that it is associated with multiple types of cancer, and of the fact that HPV-related cancers can potentially be prevented.
To help address the lack of knowledge and awareness, the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) coordinated the first International HPV Awareness Day on March 4, 2018. Rather than a focus on a disease, this campaign focuses on HPV, which causes many diseases. This initiative was implemented in partnership with more than 80 organisations around world and will take place every March 4.
Campaign activities included press releases, workshops, conferences, races, rallies, interviews, print ads and conversations on a wide variety of social media.
On social media the #GiveLoveNotHPV increased in the online conversation about HPV by over 5000% on March 2nd – March 5th and the campaign hashtag reached 2 million unique users on social media.
* The International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) is the leading global authority on human papillomaviruses (HPV). Our work facilitates the worldwide exchange of ideas, knowledge, and research about HPV and related diseases. IPVS actively promotes the translation of research results into new clinical applications and public health policies. IPVS inaugurated International HPV Awareness Day on March 4th 2018 as part of the organization’s commitment to raising awareness of HPV. Through this annual campaign IPVS aims to promote progress on HPV prevention, screening and management of HPV related diseases.