HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

QUEST HPV STUDY

This study is recruiting girls that were immunized with the HPV vaccine according to their provincial immunization schedule.  Visit www.questhpvstudy.ca to find out if you’re eligible and to learn more about the study details.  

QUEST Newsletter

Dr. Gina Ogilvie’s Coffee with Dr. Mike

Dr. Mike Evans discusses the HPV vaccine with Dr. Gina Ogilvie. 

Should You Get the HPV Vaccine?

Dr. Mike Evans explains the facts behind the HPV vaccine in this very informative and fun video! 

HPV: Our Family's Story

Audra and her aunt Laura are strong believers in the HPV vaccine, for good reason: Gisel, Audra's mother and Laura's older sister, died from cervical cancer at only 38.  

Access: HPV

A four-minute video for teens about HPV

Questions and Answers with Dr. Gina Ogilvie

A 20-minute video for parents about HPV

Carmen's story

Do you know what a colposcopy is? How about a cone biopsy? Hear Carmen's moving experiences dealing with the consequences of living with HPV (4 minutes)

Summer's story

Watch Summer Smith's story of diagnosis, treatment, family support and eventual passing away

About the vaccine 

Two HPV vaccines are licensed for use in Canada:  GARDASIL® and CERVARIX®.

The HPV vaccine, GARDASIL®, protects against 2 types of human papillomaviruses that cause most cervical cancers and a number of less common cancers such as cancers of the anus, penis, vagina and vulva. It also protects against 2 types of HPV that cause genital warts.  In those who have never been infected with HPV, the GARDASIL® vaccine prevents 7 out of 10 cases of cancer of the cervix and 9 out of 10 cases of genital warts. 

The HPV vaccine, CERVARIX®, protects against 2 types of human papillomaviruses that cause most cervical cancers. CERVARIX® does not protect against HPV types that cause genital warts.  

For answers to frequently asked questions about the HPV vaccine, see our HPV vaccine FAQ

HPV vaccine safety 

The HPV vaccine is safe.  The HPV vaccine was well studied in clinical trials and was not approved in Canada until the clinical studies showed that it was safe and effective.  Since the HPV vaccine was approved, 175 million doses have been distributed worldwide. Vaccine safety monitoring has continued to show that the HPV vaccine is safe.  You can find more information on HPV vaccine safety here

Who should get the vaccine? 

The HPV vaccine, GARDASIL®, is approved for the following people:

  • Females between the ages of 9 and 45 years
  • Males between the ages of 9 and 26 years (for information about the HPV vaccine and males, see the HPV vaccine and males page). 

The HPV vaccine, CERVARIX®, is approved for the following people:

  • Females 9 through 45 years of age. 

To find out if you are eligible for a free HPV vaccine, click here.

Those who are not eligible for a free HPV vaccine can purchase the vaccine from travel clinics, pharmacies and some sexual health clinics.  GARDASIL® costs about $500 for the three doses. CERVARIX® costs about $300 for the three doses.  Some health insurance plans may cover the cost of the vaccine. 

For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, its benefits and safety, see the HealthLink BC file on the HPV vaccine.

About the disease

  • HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Three out of four sexually active women will get HPV at some point in their lives.
  • Most don’t show any signs or symptoms and can pass the virus on to others without even knowing it.
  • Most HPV infections will clear on their own but for some women the HPV will not go away and cells infected with the virus can become cancerous over time.

Pap tests

It is important for women to get regular Pap tests once they become sexually active because the HPV vaccine protects against most but not all cancers of the cervix. 

To learn more visit: BC Cancer Agency cervical cancer screening page

Every year in BC:

  • 175 women will get cervical cancer
  • 50 women will die from the disease
  • 6,000 women will develop high risk changes to the cervix which are precancerous
  • Over 500,000 women will undergo Pap tests and over 20,000 will need further follow-up which may include additional Pap tests and other procedures to stop cancer of the cervix from developing

For more information about the disease, see the HealthLink BC file on HPV infection

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