HPV and cancer

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a common infection that can cause cancer. It is very contagious. HPV is a virus spread through sexual contact.  

It is  important for our mob to protect ourselves against HPV, because it can cause cancer in both women and men. In women it can cause cancer of the cervix, as well as the vagina, vulva and anus. In men it can cause cancer in the penis as well as the anus. HPV can also cause some head and neck cancers, including throat and mouth cancers.

Most people don’t know they have HPV, because usually they don’t have any symptoms. But the good news is, we can prevent cancer in our mob caused by HPV by being immunised (or vaccinated) against HPV..

Who is at risk and how to protect against HPV?

Everyone who is sexually active and not vaccinated against HPV is at risk of getting HPV.

Free immunisation is available to protect you and your family against HPV. The immunisation against HPV is safe.

Many of our teenage children receive the immunisation through school immunisation programs or local health centres. Doctors advise all school-aged children, female, and male, should get immunised against HPV. Children aged between 9-14 years will receive two immunisation shots, and those aged 15 years and older will receive three immunisation shots.

The HPV vaccine, like many others, is free for those who are eligible under the National Immunisation Program Schedule.

To learn about HPV and the benefits of HPV immunisation, watch this HPV prevention video.

Yarn with your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker about how to get the HPV immunisation or  visit the National Immunisation Program.

Find out more about immunisation

Immunising our mob means having vaccine or vaccines to help prevent certain diseases and keep us healthy. Certain immunisations help prevent cancer.

Life with and after cancer


Where can I get help and support?