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Addressing Stigma – Cervical Cancer & HPV

Says National Cervical Cancer Coalition Founder Alan Kaye, “As we continue to find out more about virus-associated cancers, we are seeing that some of the viruses may be associated with a sexually transmitted infection like Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).”

“At times, in many families, when they hear that a cervical cancer may be due to a sexually transmitted infection, there is a feeling of shame, isolation and a sense a person did something wrong.”

“The fact is 80% of all women and men would have tested positive for the HPV virus at least one time in their life by age 50! The HPV virus is common such as the common cold.”

“There should be no shame with having, or having had, the HPV virus.”

How Do We Best Address Stigma?

“The best way to address the stigma is to have the women and men that may have a HPV-associated cancer speak out about the virus, how common HPV is and how a diagnosis can make a person feel ashamed.”

“The virus and its cancers know no ethnicity, political party or region. These cancers can impact everyone, anywhere they may be.”

“Each time a new cancer patient or family member / caregiver speaks out about the stigma, it helps to shatter stigma a bit more. Using evidence-based science and knowledge to speak out with is paramount to reducing the stigma.”

Gynaecological Cancers

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