This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.

Website Last update: 11/02/2015
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

10 Good reasons for...


  1. HPV infection, which is very widespread and sexually transmitted, can become a chronic disease in 10% of cases. 60% of initial infections occur in the first 5 years following the onset of sexual activity. 
  2. All sexually active women can be affected. Condoms only provide partial protection against contamination with HPV. 
  3. HPV is an essential precondition for precursors of cervical cancer and cervical cancer itself. 
  4. The disease develops in a context of immunological inequality which vaccination corrects. 
  5. Screening, as a secondary preventive action, is effective but not perfect. 
  6. Vaccination also protects against the precursors of cancer, which screening alone cannot do. 
  7. HPV types 16 and 18, against which the vaccines protect, are responsible for 70% of cancers and 60% of precursors of cancer. These viruses are the most widespread and the most virulent. 
  8. Vaccination is effective if carried out before the virus is encountered. The period in which that is the greatest probability of these viruses not having been encountered is before the onset of sexual activity or in the first months afterwards. With a six and a half year history to look back on, HPV vaccination administered to young girls under 26 years of age, never previously exposed to these viruses (naïve), gives a high level of protection and strong and long-term immunisation against diseases associated with the viruses contained in the vaccine. 
  9. The vaccines have a good safety profile. 
  10. Young girls and their mothers can talk to their doctor who will explain the benefits of and issues involved with this measure to provide protection over and above that provided by screening.




  1. All women do not have the benefit of vaccination (other than the target population). 
  2. The objective of screening is to identify benign cell anomalies on the surface of the cervix which appear several years before cancer. Their detection and treatment still prevent cancer. 
  3. Screening has proved to be effective; it has transformed cervical cancer from a fatal pathology into a rare disease. However, social disparities in access to screening remain. 
  4. To be effective, screening demands rigorous conditions: 
    • Regular frequency and observation of the screening calendar from 20 to 65 years of age,
    • Test sensitivity, which must be good,
    • Appropriate treatment for lesions detected by the smear.
  5. The screening smear is a simple, inexpensive, well accepted and widespread. 
  6. Targeted and risk-based biological screening, by identification of the HPV virus (HPV test) responsible for precancerous lesions, should improve screening performance. The absence of the risk marker - HPV - ensures long-term protection (up to 5 years), which the smear alone cannot guarantee. The presence of HPV does not always mean that there is a high-risk lesion. However, no precancerous lesion escapes a positive HPV test. 
  7. Vaccination does not replace screening but provides additional protection to it. Because vaccination will not protect against all viruses and their associated lesions, screening must be continued in accordance with the recommendations issued in each country. 
  8. Screening and vaccination are the new standards for the prevention of cervical cancer. 
  9. Screening and vaccination work by synergy and in a complementary way to protect against the disease. 
  10. In non-vaccinated women, regular effective screening is the only way to prevent cervical cancer.



  1. HPV infection is very common and very widespread. Eight women in ten are at risk of encountering the virus during their lifetime and 70% of infections resolve spontaneously. HPV infections are often asymptomatic and transitory. 
  2. The lesions caused by HPV are always initially benign. 
  3. Men carry the virus in a more transient way as their immunity makes them less receptive. 
  4. Transmission is by skin and mucosa contact during sexual activity with or without penetration. HPV infection is not a traditional sexually transmitted disease (STD). Screening allows benign lesions caused by HPV to be detected at an early stage; appropriate treatment then prevents them from developing. 
  5. Vaccination combined with regular screening guarantees optimum protection. 
  6. Destructive or exeresis treatments under colposcopy do not generally have any harmful effects. 
  7. Cervical cancer is a completely preventable disease if screening is carried out regularly. It is a much delayed complication (appearing more than 20 years later) of a chronic infection with certain types of papillomavirus. 
  8. HPV is only a risk factor for women who are not screened. 
  9. The one-off smear can sometimes lack sensitivity but its regular repetition is very helpful in detecting high-risk lesions. 
  10. The biological detection of HPV provides an early warning and allows appropriate and effective management. The absence of HPV guarantees long-term protection, which the screening smear cannot do.


end faq