Canada Declares World’s First HPV Prevention Week

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  •  Human papillomavirus (HPV) is currently the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world, and can lead to serious long-term health conditions.[1]
  • Results from a retrospective study have shown that seven HPV types (16,18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) are responsible for 90% of invasive cervical cancer cases in the world.[2]
  • Infection with high-risk HPV types is also linked to cancers of the penis, anus, vulva, vagina, as well as the mouth and throat.[3]


OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada – May 30, 2017 – The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) today announced in Parliament that Canada will be the world’s first country to declare  a HPV Prevention Week.  From October 1 to 7, 2017, a series of events and initiatives will educate Canadians about a condition that is estimated to affect as many as 75% of sexually  active men and women in their lifetime.1

“Despite our clear understanding of the dangers of HPV, Canada’s full public health potential as it relates to awareness and prevention has yet to be realized – a situation that is echoed on a global scale,”  said Dr. Vivien Brown, Past-President FMWC. “By hosting the world’s first official HPV Prevention Week, Canada hopes to show leadership in how we  – doctors, nurses, public health officials, NGOs, pharmacists and politicians – can work together to educate all Canadians, to close the preventative care gap, and encourage behaviour that could ultimately save lives.”

Today’s announcement took place on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, as part of a day-long program  of events designed to rally government, patient groups and healthcare community participants to play an active role in the development of the inaugural HPV Prevention Week programming. Participants in today’s Parliament Hill events included leading healthcare providers, patient organizations, Members of Parliament, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the FMWC.

“Prior to and ever since the Declaration on Prevention and Promotion from Canada’s Ministers of Health in 2010, prevention has become recognized as a hallmark of high-quality healthcare systems,” said Dr. Anne Niec, President of the FMWC. “We hope that HPV Prevention Week will stand as a symbol for health prevention in Canada and continued healthcare leadership.”

“Merck is proud to be supporting the FMWC today,” said Imraan Munshi, Executive Director, Global Vaccines Communications, Merck & Co. “It’s this type of leadership that can have a real-world impact on population health. We are looking forward to seeing how Canadians will lead the way in sparking a global conversation on HPV disease prevention. Congratulations to all involved.”

Details about HPV Prevention Week are available at, with programming announcements planned in the coming months.

About Federation of Medical Women of Canada

The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) is a national organization committed to the professional, social and personal advancement of women physicians and to the promotion of the well-being of women both in the medical profession and in society at large. Established in 1924, the FMWC is also an independent nation member of the Medical Women’s International Association. For more information, please visit:

Media Contacts

NATIONAL Public Relations: Melissa Wood at 613.233.1699 ext. 6229

FMWC: Ana Page at 613.569.5881 OR 1.844.215.8455


This announcement has been made possible through the support of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and Merck Canada Inc.


[2] Lancet Oncol 2010; 11: 1048–56 - Human papillomavirus genotype attribution in invasive cervical cancer: a retrospective cross-sectional worldwide study; October 18, 2010; DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(10)70230-8

[3] Canadian Cancer Society: