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.
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.
Three human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are recommended for use in Canada:
All three vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18 that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and 80% of anal cancers. The HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines also protect against HPV types 6 and 11 that cause about 90% of cases of genital warts. The HPV9 vaccine protects against five additional cancer causing types (HPV 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58) which account for about 15% of cervical cancers, 11% of anal cancers in females and 4% in males.
All three of these HPV vaccines are approved by Health Canada.
Gardasil®9 (HPV9) is recommended and provided free to females born on or after January 1, 2005 who are in grade 6 or older. Starting September 2016, Gardasil®9 will be offered and provided free to grade 6 girls as part of the school-based immunization program. This vaccine replaces Gardasil® (HPV4) which was previously used.
Gardasil®9 is also provided free to females 9 to 26 years of age who are infected with HIV.
Gardasil® (HPV4) is free for females born in 1994-2004 who have not received the vaccine. Unimmunized or incompletely immunized females born in 1994 - 2004 will continue to be eligible for HPV4 up to 26 years of age inclusive. They may contact their health care provider to get immunized at no cost.
The vaccine is also free for males who are at an increased risk for HPV infection. This includes males:
Gardasil® (HPV4) and Gardasil®9 (HPV9) are recommended, but not provided free, for the following people:
Cervarix® (HPV2) is recommended, but not provided free, for girls and women 9 to 45 years of age. The vaccine is not currently approved for use in boys or men.
Those not eligible for free HPV vaccine, but who would like to receive the vaccine, can purchase it from most pharmacies and travel clinics and at some sexual health clinics.
It is best to get immunized before becoming sexually active and coming in contact with HPV; however, people who are sexually active may still benefit from the vaccines. The vaccines do not treat HPV infections.
In women who have never been infected with HPV, the HPV2, HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines prevent almost 100% of cases of cancer of the cervix caused by HPV types 16 and 18. HPV9 protects against five additional cancer causing types (HPV 31, 33, 45, 52, 58) which account for about 15% of cervical cancers.The HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines also prevent almost 100% of cases of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11.
In men who have never been infected with HPV, the HPV4 vaccine prevents about 85% of cases of anal cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18. The vaccine also prevents about 90% of cases of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11.
For more information about HPV vaccines, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC File: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.
For answers to frequently asked questions about the HPV vaccine, see our HPV vaccine FAQ.
For more information about HPV, see the HealthLink BC file on HPV infection.
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
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