Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Australia May Become the First Country in the World to Eradicate Cervical Cancer

Australia May Become the First Country in the World to Eradicate Cervical Cancer
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA ? OCTOBER 7: A file photo shows Professor Ian Frazer at work in a bio medical laboratory at the Princess Alexandra Hospital August 12, 2005 in Brisbane, Australia. A vaccine to prevent cervical cancer developed by Professor Frazer has been shown in trials on 12,000 women from 13 countries, to be 100 per cent effective in preventing the most common form of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the few human cancers that is known to be directly caused by a viral infection, with more than 500,000 cases being diagnosed annually killing an estimated 275,000 women around the world every year. (Photo by Jonathan Wood/Getty Images)

Australia is on track to become the first nation to potentially eliminate cervical cancer.

Australia could become the first country to completely eliminate cervical cancer, according to an announcement made by the International Papillomavirus Society.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted infection that causes 99.9% of cervical cancers. In the world of infectious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, HPV poses a tremendous global risk. The sexually communicable virus is also linked to increases risks for other various forms of cancer, including the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth and throat.


In 2007, the Australian federal government began a pilot program designed to offer the vaccine to girls who were at high risk for contracting HPV.  These girls, ages 12-13, were given access to the vaccine for free. Six years later, the program expanded to provide the vaccination to boys. The inoculation process for HPV require a series of two to three vaccinations. Despite the age restrictions on the government sponsored program, boys and girls between the ages of 14-19 are offered access to two doses of the vaccine—an effort to make the preventive measure more accessible and affordable to that vulnerable age range.

According to The Guardian, by 2016, 78.6% of 15-year old girls and 72.9% of 15-year old boys in Australia had been vaccinated. Because of this, by 2015 the rate new HPV infections had dropped to just 1.1 percent for women ages 18-24.

In December 2017, the government also installed a new program that provides a more comprehensive and advanced cervical cancer screening that could identify cancer at an earlier stage. According to Professor Ian Frazer, a co-inventor of the HPV vaccine that Australia is using, the new screening test, coupled with the free vaccination program, will help to potentially eradicate cervical cancer in Australia within a decade or two.

“As long as we continue the screening program, we will continue to pick up those with the virus already, and as long as we keep up the vaccination, we could have no new cases in 10-20 years. Only 50-60% of women participate regularly in the screening program. If that was 100% we would have no cervical cancer in this country even without the vaccine, “ he said.

The advancements towards eradicating cervical cancer is a marked difference from the United States. According to the CDC, 79 million Americans are infected with HPV, many of whom are in their late teens and early 20’s. 14 million new Americans are infected with HPV each year.

Accessibility to the vaccine, thankfully, is not a huge barrier for many Americans, both with private and public medical insurance.  Medicaid, Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, Immunization Grant Program (Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers vaccine coverage to many American. For example, Medicaid (as guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act) ensures that all children under 18 have access to the vaccine.

Despite the accessibility, however, cervical cancer is still a huge problem, especially when race becomes a factor. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Limited access to treatment and diagnosis at later stages of disease progression, as well as cost, lack of physician referral, and cultural barriers may account for some of the disproportionate impact of cervical cancer on Black women.” Prevention is key to preventing cervical cancer; the HPV vaccine is just one of these tools.

Thankfully, more and more Americans are being vaccinated against HPV, a trend that will hopefully continue to mirror the path taken by Australia. According to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, an estimated 60% of teenagers in the US are now vaccinated against HPV. This number will need to continue to rise, should a true eradication of cervical cancer ever be possible on American soil.

More from News

Matthew Perry in '90210'; Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry in '90210'
Fox

Poignant '90210' Scene Featuring Matthew Perry, Shannen Doherty And Luke Perry Resurfaces

A clip of Matthew Perry, Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry alongside Jason Priestley in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 has resurfaced following Doherty's death on Saturday, and it's hitting fans hard.

The poignant scene from the series' first season was recently shared on Threads and quickly made its way across other platforms.

Keep ReadingShow less
Terrell Davis
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

United Airlines Apologizes After NFL Hall Of Famer Is Handcuffed In Front Of His Family On Flight

United Airlines issued an apology after NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis was handcuffed in front of his family and other passengers for tapping a flight attendant on the arm during a flight.

The former Denver Broncos running back (1995-2002) took to Instagram earlier this week to address the "traumatizing events" that transpired while he was traveling with his wife and three children.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Matt Gaetz being confronted by an RNC delegate
@KaladinFree/X

RNC Attendee Confronts 'A**hole' Gaetz For Going After McCarthy In Hilariously Brutal Takedown

Far-right Florida Representative Matt Gaetz was brilliantly shut down by a delegate attending the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee after Gaetz was seen taunting former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Gaetz, who led the charge to oust McCarthy from the speakership in October 2023, noticed him being interviewed by CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the convention and went over to rag on his political nemesis.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Brenna Bird
C-SPAN

Iowa AG Dragged For Ironically Boasting At RNC That Republicans Put Criminals 'In Jail'

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird was criticized after telling the audience at the Republican National Convention that the GOP is known to "put criminals where they belong: in jail"—only to then encourage everyone to vote for convicted felon former President Donald Trump.

In May, Trump became the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes. The jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to illegally influence the 2016 election. His sentencing was set for July 11 but has now been delayed in the wake of a Supreme Court decision granting him sweeping immunity protections.

Keep ReadingShow less
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Vivek Ramaswamy
Steven Ferdman/GC Images; Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images

AOC Gives Vivek Ramaswamy Brutal Tip On How To Be 'Cool' After His RNC Challenge To Gen Z

Biotech entrepreneur and former GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was given a lesson by New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about "being cool" after he made an appeal to Generation Z during the Republican National Convention, telling them they can be "rebels" if they call themselves "conservative" on college campuses.

Speaking from the podium at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ramaswamy issued the following remarks designed to court the youth:

Keep ReadingShow less