HPV Awareness Campaign
On October 3, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) launched a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine awareness campaign aimed at informing and connecting with First Nations communities across BC. This campaign seeks to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their own health and wellness.
What is HPV?
HPV is a highly transmissible and very common sexually transmitted infection.
While the majority of HPV infections will disappear over time, in the short term they can cause bumps in the genital area that can become warts. The long term risk after an HPV infection, which may be years, or even decades later, include greater risk of cancers that can develop in the vulva, penis, anus or throat.
Given this, parents/guardians with Grade 6 age children are encouraged to have their children vaccinated against HPV. The HPV vaccine is beneficial to all recommended individuals, regardless of gender. Eligible youth who miss out on the vaccine at that time can get it before they turn 19.
For information about who should get the HPV vaccine, please visit Health Canada.
The HPV Vaccine
What are the benefits of the HPV Vaccine?
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A pap test can also check for the presence of HPV. During the test, a primary care provider doctor will collect a sample of cells from your cervix. These cells will be tested for abnormalities and HPV and determine whether you need further testing.
Pap tests can find abnormal cells in the cervix before they become cancer. It's free and can be done by a health care provider at their clinic. Anyone with a cervix, including women and transgender people, age 25 to 69 should be screened every 3 years.
The FNHA is working with our partners to increase accessibility to pap testing. Follow FNHA's social media channels for upcoming updates on cervical cancer screening options.