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2021 Cervical Health Awareness Month

An estimated 13,800 women were diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer in the U.S. during 2020, and about 4,290 died as a result of that cancer.  Infection with certain cancer-causing strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to the development of cervical cancer in women, penile cancer in men, and anal cancer and cancers affecting the throat, tongue, and tonsils in both men and women.  In addition, invasive cervical cancer and anal cancer occur at significantly higher rates among persons with HIV than among the general population.

For women, screening is available to detect most cases of cervical cancer with a Pap smear. At this time, there are no official guidelines recommending routine screening for other HPV-related cancers among women or men – although some groups have advocated for anal cancer screening among HIV-infected men and women. 

Fortunately, an effective vaccine is now available to prevent infection involving the most common cancer-causing strains of HPV. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that HPV vaccination has the potential to prevent more than 90% of all cases of HPV-related cancers in the U.S. 

The U.S. Congress has designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. Each year, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition and American Sexual Health Association encourage women across the country to get screened for cervical cancer and receive the HPV vaccine if they are eligible.  

We have compiled the resources below to help you, your colleagues, and clients or patients become more informed about cervical and other HPV-related cancers, screening, and vaccination. 

General Information About HPV and HPV-Related Cancers

Cancers Caused by HPV (CDC) 

Basic Information About HPV and Cancer – also available in Spanish (CDC) 

Human Papilloma Virus (Poz) 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – also available in Spanish (TheWellProject) 

Cervical Cancer (American Cancer Society) 

Cervical Cancer and HIV – Two Diseases, One Response (UNAIDS) 

HIV Infection and Cancer Risk (National Cancer Institute) 

Anal Cancer: Distribution in the Population and Causes (UCSF Department of Medicine) 

Anal Cancer Treatment (National Cancer Institute) 

What Is Anal Cancer: Frequently Asked Questions  (Anal Cancer Foundation) 

Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV – These are recommendations from CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. There is a section specifically devoted to HPV disease that includes information on epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, screening recommendations, prevention, and treatment, as well as special considerations for pregnant women with HIV and HPV-related disease. 
 

Screening for HPV-Related Cancers 

Gynecologic Cancers: What Should I Know About Screening? – also available in Spanish (CDC) 

Cervical Cancer: Screening Recommendations (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) 

Cervical Cancer Screening (PDQ) – Patient Version and Health Professional Version (National Cancer Institute) 

Cervical Cancer Screening: Frequently Asked Questions (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) 

Cervical Screening for Dysplasia and Cancer (New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute) 

Get Screened: January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month (Healthy Women)  

 

HPV Vaccination 

Vaccine (Shot) for Human Papillomavirus – also available in Spanish (CDC) 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: Safety Information (CDC) 

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine (Vaccines.gov) 

HPV Vaccines (WebMD) 

HPV Vaccine Information for Young Women – also available in Spanish (CDC) 

When to Get HPV Vaccine [information for parents] (CDC) 

Recommendations on the Use of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in Males – Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011 (CDC) – includes recommendations regarding HPV vaccination in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men