An awareness campaign is airing in movie theatres across Canada, aimed at women who might not have received the HPV vaccine when it came out 10 years ago but are still at risk of infection.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SOGC) launched the Human papillomavirus (HPV) awareness campaign to target women aged 25 to 45.
The society said HPV is becoming more prevalent among women in their 30s and 40s; women who have likely never displayed any symptoms, yet could still become infected with genital warts or cancer.
“Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for HPV,” SOGC CEO Dr. Jennifer Blake said. “Many of the women in this demographic may have had their sons or daughters vaccinated, but have left themselves vulnerable.”
Studies show three out of four Canadians will be infected by HPV at some time in their life. The society said as people age it is more difficult for their bodies to rid themselves of the virus, but it’s not too late to get vaccinated.
The SOGC said studies done in the decade since the HPV vaccine was introduced in Canada are showing better than expected results; that it is not only safe, but prevents cervical cancer and precancerous lesions caused by the virus.
Alberta implemented a school-based immunization program in 2008. A three-year catch-up program was added in 2009 and a vaccination program for boys was added in 2014. The current program involves three doses of the vaccine, which protects against 70 per cent of cases of cervical cancer.
The society produced a video ad that has been airing in Cineplex theatres for the past two weeks and overlaps with National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, an initiative of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) from Oct. 17 to 21.