HPV in Ireland
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a family of very common and highly contagious viruses1. Males and females can get HPV infection2,3. HPV infection usually clears up by itself but if not, it can cause cancers in both men and women such as anal cancer in men and cervical and anal cancers in women1.
Every year in Ireland, up to 130 people die from HPV-related cancers (100 female, 30 male)4 while globally 1 in 20 of all cancers are caused by HPV infection1. HPV can also cause genital warts in both males and females with more than 1,000 reported cases of genital warts each year in Ireland5. Irish research found that almost 72% of people do not know what HPV is and that 42% are not aware that HPV can cause cancer6. Both boys and girls are offered the HPV vaccine under the National HPV Immunisation Programme in their first year of secondary school2. Immunising boys and girls will help to protect them from certain types of HPV infections that may develop into cancers later in life2.