How has Australia eliminated cervical cancer?
Australia is on track to become the first country in the world, to completely wipe out cervical cancer amongst it’s citizens. The International Papillomavirus Society has just stated the astonishing news in a recent announcement!
In a new study, Australia‘s efforts and commitment to distributing the HPV vaccine free to all schools across the nation, has had an unparalleled and unprecedented success! The Human Papillomavirus or HPV for short is a sexually transmitted infection, the infection causes cervical cancer in 99.9% of cases!
What age group gets the vaccine?
In 2007 the Australian government made the HPV vaccine available to young girls between the ages of 12-13, It was not until 2013 that the drug was available to boys. Nether less, boys and girls not aged 12-13 but under the age of 19 can get 2 free doses of the vaccine free of charge.
What percentage of Australians did HPV effect?
The Human Papillomavirus infections were studied in Australian women aged between 18-24, between the dates 2005 and 2015 and dropped a staggering 21.6 percent from a total of 22.7 percent, to just 1.1 percent during that time!
The Australian government started to offer the free vaccine from 2007 onwards.
Since 2015 People getting immunised has greatly increased nearly eradicating the infection all together! People are calling this the ‘herd protection’ effect.
How will Australia be the first to wipe out cervical cancer?
In 2017 the government in Australia developed and rolled out a more advanced screening test for cervical cancer, so coupled with the free HPV vaccine they are hopeful that no new cases of cervical cancer will be reported in the next 10-20 years!
Why is the rest of the world not doing this?
The HPV vaccine is quite expensive, take the US for example, a course of treatment can cost as much as $450 per person. In 2016 nearly 80 percent of Australian girls and 73 percent of boys aged 15 were vaccinated, compared to just 50 percent of American girls and 38 percent of boys aged 13-17 were vaccinated!
Here’s the bad news, if you live in a developing country where the virus is rife, you have a high chance of getting cancer due to the Human Papillomavirus! Over two thirds of the worlds population of women don’t have access to the vaccine full stop.
A trial that took place in Bhutan proved to be effective administering the vaccines in schools, similar to the way the Australian government has tackled the issue.
We just need the rest of the world to stand up and take note, then hopefully we as a whole can get a grip on cervical cancer for good!