HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. This virus is very contagious and is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada. 75% of sexually active Canadians will get at least one HPV infection in their life. Some people who have HPV have no symptoms and can pass the infection without even knowing it!
There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses. Some types are considered high risk and others are considered low risk.
High risk HPV viruses can cause abnormal cell changes that can lead to certain types of cancer. HPV infection is associated with about:
• 100% of cervical cancers
• 80-90% of anal cancers
• 40% of vaginal and vulvar cancers
• 40-50% of penile cancers
• 25-35% of oral cavity (mouth) and oropharyngeal (throat) cancers
Low risk HPV viruses do not cause cell changes or cancer but can cause genital warts. Genital warts can be painful and uncomfortable as can treating them.
The HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9, protects against the most common type of HPV that cause cancer and genital warts. The vaccine works best when given during adolescence and before boys and girls become exposed to HPV. More than 200 million doses of HPV vaccine have been given worldwide. It is used in 160 countries including Canada, Australia, United States and the United Kingdom.
For more information about HPV and HPV vaccine visit:
Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care: Frequently Asked Questions Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Canadian Cancer Society: HPV