Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the primary cause of genital warts and almost all cervical cancers.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Canada. An estimated 75% of the Canadian population will be infected with HPV at least once in their life and, at any one time, 10-30% of adults are infected.

To learn about the vaccine administration, eligibility, extended eligibility and consent forms for HPV go to the HPV Clinic page.

To find out when the nurses are going to be in your school check the School Immunization Schedule.

Transmission and Prevention

Sexual activity is the primary risk factor for HPV. These safe sexual practices are important:

  • Avoid early initiation of sexual activity
  • Limit the number of sexual partners
  • Regularly use barrier methods (condoms and dental dams) when sexually active

Maintenance of a healthy immune system is important to the body's ability to fight off an HPV infection. Practices for a healthy immune system include:

  • Elimination of exposure to tobacco
  • Eating for health (follow Canada's Food Guide)
  • Participation in daily physical activity
  • Sufficient rest
  • Stress reduction

A vaccine called Gardasil is available to help prevent the HPV infection and related disease. In January 2007, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) published a recommendation that all females aged 9-13 should receive Gardasil and that those aged 14-26 would benefit from it.

Links and resources

HPV Fact Sheet

HPV Physician Poster

HPV Student Poster

Human Papillomavirus Brochure

Information about HPV in Waterloo Region

Cancer Care Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Health

Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists