Monday, 25 February 2008



In England there are about 2200 cases of cervical cancer a year, with about 800 deaths

What is HPV?

Human papilloma virus is a sexually transmitted virus that causes 99 per cent of invasive cervical cancer.

How is HPV infection spread?
By sexual contact, mostly through sexual intercourse, but also through other types of sexual activity.

Is HPV common?
Yes. At some time in their lives, most people will be infected with HPV. In the UK, HPV DNA (indicating current infection) has been found in 40% of 20-24 year old women.

There is a new vaccine out for girls aged 12-13 - with a catch up for girls up to the age of 18. Although boys do spread the virus and carry it, they obv can't get cervical cancer themselves and so are exempt (erm... great :-/ )

However, the shottage only works if the girl is not sexually active yet. As in no contact whatsoever, as it is spread by sexual activity, not just full on sex. Anyone that has already had sex is beyond vaccination.

Who is affected by this cancer?
Any woman could be affected. (and therefore EVERYONE - no one lives in a woman free world!!) Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus, which commonly cause infection in young people; up to 80% of sexually active people will be infected with human papillomavirus at some point in their lifetime. The virus is transmitted from skin to skin through genital contact. The infection usually has no symptoms so it may not be noticed. In most cases the body will clear the infection.While approximately 40% of all women diagnosed with cervical cancer are between 35 and 54 years of age, the majority of them were probably exposed to the virus when they were between 16 and 25 years old.

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