The Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection, which can be acquired by men and women. Governments consequently have a responsibility to prevent cervical cancer incidence and mortality by providing national HPV vaccinations, effective cervical cancer screenings and quality online information.
Belgium’s prevention policies
Belgium, but particularly Flandersstands out for its policy. Since 2011 girls have been receiving HPV vaccination at the age of twelve. Since September 2019 boys are also vaccinated free of charge. Screeings for HPV are organized and information about HPV and cervical cancer is easily accessible through government supported websites, such as allesoverseks.be by Sensoa.
Disastrous figures for Eastern European countries
Belgium shares its leading position with Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In Western Europe, France, Luxemburg and Spain are lagging at 74%. The situation in Eastern European countries is disastrous, with figures as low as 17% in ex-Yugoslavian republics.
The Cervical Cancer Prevention Policy Atlas is an initiative of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive rights and was first launched in January 2020.