Guard with a ‘health shield’ vs. HPV

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    Guard Against HPV advocacy campaign, with new ambassador Niña Corpuz, broadcast journalist and health advocate (4th from left) and co-moderator Dr. Erwin De Mesa, President of the Philippine Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (PIDSOG) (3rd from left) express their support to health empowered parenting and in encouraging the youth to protect themselves from vaccine-preventable diseases like cervical cancer.
    Guard Against HPV advocacy campaign, with new ambassador Niña Corpuz, broadcast journalist and health advocate (4th from left) and co-moderator Dr. Erwin De Mesa, President of the Philippine Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (PIDSOG) (3rd from left) express their support to health empowered parenting and in encouraging the youth to protect themselves from vaccine-preventable diseases like cervical cancer.

    THE Guard Against HPV, a campaign supported by MSD in the Philippines together with its advocates, is calling attention to the urgent need to increase awareness and understanding of HPV diseases and their burdens on the unprotected population, since most HPV infections show no symptoms at all.

    Niña Corpuz was recently presented as the new campaign ambassador of Guard Against HPV during its advocacy launch at the Seda Vertis North in Quezon City. The broadcast journalist and health advocate co-moderated the media discussion with Dr. Erwin De Mesa, President of the Philippine Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (PIDSOG).

    Although some of the infections from this commonly occurring virus with more than 100 types usually go away on their own, at least 14 types of HPV have been found to be cancer-causing.

    These HPV-related cancers and diseases are cervical cancer, vaginal and vulvar cancers, penile cancer, anal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, and genital warts.

    In the Philippines, HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is the second leading cancer site among Filipino women, with thousands of new cases and deaths occurring yearly.

    Early this year, the Philippines was plagued with a measles outbreak that could have been avoided with immunization. Since HPV diseases like cervical cancer are vaccine-preventable, representatives from groups like Cervical Cancer Prevention Network of the Philippines (CECAP), Philippine Dermatological Society of the Philippines (PDS), and PIDSOG shed light on the hotly debated vaccination issue, while underscoring the need for a preventative approach.

    Awareness and willingness to take action are imperative because HPV vaccination works best when given before a person becomes exposed to the virus. To highlight the importance of immunization and regular check-ups as key factors to disease prevention, representative mother and youth officers from Lingkod E.R. reiterated the value of early protection such as vaccination during the Guard Against HPV launch, in addition to exchanging valuable insights on adolescence as the ideal time to talk about personal health.

    The campaign aims to empower mothers to be one of the primary advocates for their children’s health. It also seeks to engage the youth as well in the conversation about protecting their health now to enjoy a future free from HPV diseases and cancers.

    Guard Against HPV is an advocacy campaign spearheaded by MSD in the Philippines.