“The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in Canada and affects about 75 per cent of the population at some point in their lifetime. HPV spreads easily and can lead to different types of cancer in both men and women.

“Many people who get HPV will not realize they even have it, since most types of HPV cause no visible signs or symptoms. There is no treatment or cure for HPV.

“Alberta supports HPV Prevention Week in Canada. It is a reminder to everyone that whether individuals have contracted the virus or not, there are steps people can take to protect themselves and others.

“Immunization is a simple and highly effective way to prevent HPV infection. HPV vaccination is 90 per cent effective against several HPV types and HPV-related cancers.

“Alberta was one of the first provinces in Canada to implement a school-based, public HPV vaccination program in 2008. Grade 6 students get the HPV vaccine in school at no cost. And, in July 2020, the government expanded provincial coverage to its publicly funded HPV program to include males and females up to and including 26 years of age.

“I encourage everyone to take every measure possible to prevent HPV infection through our program, or by talking to your doctor and other health care providers.

“If anyone has questions about the risks, detection or vaccination for HPV, visit immunizealberta.ca, or call Health Link at 811.”