March 12, 2018
Experts predict Australia is likely to become the first country to effectively eliminate cervical cancer within the next 40 years.
The latest research shows there's been a dramatic decline in the rates of Human Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - the infection that causes about 99.9 percent of cervical cancers - due to the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine.
Among Australian women aged 18 to 24, the HPV rate had dropped from 22.7 percent to just 1.1 percent over the last 10 years, according to research recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Before the vaccination program, almost all sexually active people had contracted HPV
Because of the vaccine's success the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) has for the first time outlined in a statement, published on Sunday, that cervical cancer could soon be eliminated as a public health problem.
The IPVS is made up of the world's leading cervical cancer and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) researchers, including Professor Suzanne Garland from the Royal Women's Hospital and University of Melbourne, and who advises the WHO and global policy makers on cervical cancer prevention and screening.
Professor Garland says Australia would likely be the first country to achieve the milestone of cervical cancer eradication.