Cervical cancer vaccine to be launched next week

New Zealand’s HPV (human papillomavirus) Immunisation Programme will be launched on Monday, with the HPV vaccine Gardasil being offered free to young girls and women aged 12-18 years, over the next five years.

HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer and in New Zealand currently around 160 women are diagnosed each year and 60 women die each year. The HPV immunisation programme aims to reduce cervical cancer in New Zealand by protecting young women against HPV infection.

More information is available from the New Zealand HPV project and the Ministry of Health.

Also on the theme of sexual health, the New Zealand Sexual Health Society conference is being held from 28 to 30 August 2008. Keynote speakers include Nicola Low, who is internationally recognised for publications on Chlamydia screening, and Sue Bagshaw, who is well known for her work with adolescents. Also speaking will be Professor Richie Poulton, Director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit. For more information about the conference see the New Zealand Sexual Health Society website.

Media round up:

Stuff: Cervical cancer vaccine to roll out Monday

Gisborne Herald: Cervical cancer vaccine works

3 News: Cancer vaccine rolled out on Monday

To speak to an expert on HPV, or any aspect of sexual health, contact the Science Media Centre on 04 499 5476 or smc@sciencemediacentre.co.nz.