The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection with more than 70% of sexually active men and women being infected at least once in their lifetime. Two high risk oncogenic types of HPV, HPV 16 and 18, cause 70% of cervical cancers. These two types of HPV have also been associated with cancers of the anus, oropharynx, penis, vagina, and vulva. Two low risk oncogenic HPV types, HPV 6 and 11 are responsible for 90% of genital warts and are associated with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Two HPV vaccines have been approved in Canada and offer the potential to dramatically reduce the burden of disease caused by HPV.
The International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID) is an active leader in HPV prevention bringing together stakeholders and opinion leaders from science, academia, research, health care, private industry, and public health. Responding to the growing evidence surrounding HPV disease in Canada, ICID provides project management, facilitation, and secretariat functions to address HPV knowledge gaps, respond to HPV disease control issues, and recommend appropriate strategies to improve the health of Canadians. Working collaboratively with partners, ICID is an active leader and coordinator of international, Canadian and Manitoba-based programs to expand HPV knowledge synthesis and translation from research to practice. Activities of ICID's Canadian Network on HPV Prevention, the International Indigenous HPV Alliance (IIHPVA), and the Canadian Aboriginal HPV working group help to move this work forward.
ICID's HPV Program areas have disseminated HPV knowledge and evidence through public consultation, professional networks, technology improvement discussions, coordination of proposal submissions for funding, and development of HPV educational resources and literature reviews. International and national research workshops, seminars, and partnerships have been organized, hosted, and facilitated to address HPV research priorities and international Indigenous and Canadian Aboriginal population issues and needs. Promoting novel strategies to reach common goals among diverse communities have been achieved by linking communities and professionals to improve HPV understanding and awareness for improved vaccination and screening uptake among Canadians.