“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.

“In Alberta, HPV causes almost all cases of cervical cancer in women as well as head and neck cancers in men under the age of 40.

HPV Prevention Week is a good opportunity for Albertans to have conversations or increase their awareness about how they can prevent this life-threatening disease.

“Since most forms of HPV do not produce any overt symptoms or visible signs, many Albertans who get HPV will not realize they have it. There is no treatment or cure for HPV; however, treatment is available for some of the diseases that HPV causes.

“One highly effective method to prevent infection is to get immunized. Research shows that HPV immunization is more than 90 per cent effective against several HPV types and HPV-related cancers.

“The HPV vaccine strengthens the immune system and helps build antibodies against nine types of HPV to prevent infection. This is why we continue to provide public HPV immunization programs to help protect the lives of Albertans.

“If anyone has questions about the risks and detection of, or immunization for HPV, visit healthiertogether.ca or call Health Link at 811.”