To raise awareness and prevent cervical cancer
Because HPV is so easily passed on, it is quite difficult to prevent yourself from being infected with this common virus. Most people – more than 50% of males and females – will be infected with at least one type of HPV at some time in their life. But remember that most people clear HPV infection from their body without any symptoms or health problems.
It is now possible to be vaccinated against cervical cancer. Currently available vaccines protect against HPV types that account for up to 80% of cervical cancer cases and the majority of pre-cancerous cervical abnormalities.
The Australian Government is funding the cervical cancer vaccine for females aged 12 to 26 years. Vacccination does not protect against all HPV types that cause cervical cancer therefore it is important that vaccinated women continue with regular Pap screening.
Together, vaccination and regular Pap tests offer you the best chance of preventing both cervical cancer and pre-cancerous cervical abnormalities.
Your risk of developing cervical cancer can be reduced by having regular pap smears which are an early detection screening program. Always make sure you receive the result of your Pap test from your healthcare professional. Pap tests are usually performed every 2 years, unless your GP or Pap-test nurse has asked you to have them more frequently. Regular Pap tests are a very good way of picking up abnormal cells before they progress into cervical cancer. If you are or have ever been sexually active (with either male or female partners) you should be having 2-yearly Pap tests, starting when you are 18 to 20 years, and continuing through until age 70.
Talk to your GP or Pap-test nurse about prevention of HPV infection and cervical cancer. There has been much publicity about other ways to prevent cervical cancer in the future and your GP will be able to advise you on the best way for you to protect yourself.
1. Support those who suffer or have suffered from cervical cancer
2. Prevent it before it's too late
3. Raise awareness of cervical cancer