What you need to know about HPV
What is HPV?
HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus.
HPV is a family of very common and highly contagious viruses8.
Isn’t the HPV vaccine just for girls?
The HPV vaccine is for boys and girls1. HPV immunisation prevents certain HPV infection which can lead to cancers like cervical and anal cancers1. Both boys and girls are offered vaccination under the National HPV Immunisation Programme in their first year of secondary school8.
How does HPV affect males and females?
Males and females can get HPV infection. HPV infection usually clears up by itself but if not, it can cause cancers in both men and women such as anal cancer in men and cervical and anal cancers in women1.
Every year in Ireland, up to 130 people die from HPV-related cancers (100 female, 30 male)5 while 1 in 20 of all cancers are caused by HPV infection7. HPV can also cause genital warts in both males and females with more than 1,000 reported cases of genital warts each year in Ireland9.
How is HPV transmitted?
HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact. It’s very common and highly contagious. HPV is so common that almost everyone who is sexually active will get HPV infection at some point in their lifetime8. Most adults in Ireland don’t realise they’re likely to have been exposed to HPV2.
What are the symptoms of HPV?
You can’t always tell if someone has HPV as most HPV infections don’t come with clinical symptoms. This means that people infected with HPV often don’t know that they have it and can continue transmitting the virus to others1.
If I have HPV infection, will I definitely get cancer?
No. While almost every man and woman will get HPV infection at some point in their lives, HPV infection usually clears up by itself. When HPV infection doesn’t clear up by itself, it becomes a problem as it could lead to cancers8. There is no way to tell who will clear the virus and who won’t which is why prevention is so important.
Is it possible to help to protect against HPV before being exposed to HPV infection?
In Ireland the National HPV Immunisation Programme offers vaccination to all boys and girls in first year of secondary school8. HPV immunisation is most effective before a person becomes sexually active. The vaccine is also offered to certain adults up to the age of 46, who are eligible and at-risk10. HPV immunisation prevents certain HPV infection which can lead to cancers like cervical cancer and anal cancer8.
Are there side effects?
The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Advisory Committee for Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has reviewed the evidence on the safety of the HPV vaccine in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015. WHO has never reported safety concerns with HPV vaccines11.
Common side effects of HPV vaccine include1:
- Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given
- Headache or feeling tired
- Muscle or joint pain
I have more questions about HPV, who can I talk to?
If you need more information about HPV/HPV prevention and the HPV vaccine, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
What is the HPV Cervical Screening Test
A cervical screening test checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.12
It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer from developing.12
Screening first looks to see if you have any of the high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer.12
If HPV is found, your same test sample will be checked to see if you have any abnormal (precancerous) cells in your cervix.12
This is a new way of screening. It is called HPV cervical screening. It was introduced in Ireland in March 2020.12
HPV cervical screening12:
- is a better way of cervical screening
- prevents more cancers
- means some people will have fewer tests
If you have had a smear test in the past, having a cervical screening test will feel the same.
For more information visit CervicalCheck website
Need more information?
Talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about HPV today
South County Business Park,
Dublin D18 X5K7 Ireland.
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(Human Health) Limited, 2020.
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At MSD, privacy begins with trust. Our approach to protecting privacy is built on:
- Respect for people's expectations of privacy
- Sincere work to develop and preserve trust
- Prevention of privacy breaches
- Compliance with the letter and spirit of privacy laws
We know being transparent and accountable is crucial to building trust. By adhering to privacy practices and standards, we carry on our tradition of upholding high ethical standards across our business.
We also work to ensure that we respond to changes in privacy expectations, and remember to respect the choices and perspectives of others.
Across our business, we are committed to data security and to treating each stakeholder with respect.
For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 2018 (the "Act"), the data controller is Merck Sharp & Dohme Ireland (Human Health) Limited of Read Oak North, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 ("MSD"). MSD is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected and that it complies with its obligations under the Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations.
This policy applies to personal information (as defined below) collected from MSD online resources and communications that display a link to this policy. This policy does not apply to third-party online resources to which MSD's websites may link, where MSD does not control the content or the privacy practices of such resources.
The term "personal information" as used throughout this policy applies to data relating to a living individuals who can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information in the possession of MSD or those acting on our behalf.
Information we collect from you
MSD collects personal information and other data that you may enter into forms or data fields on our websites or online resources. Such information may include, but not be limited to, contact information (such as your name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, user ID and password), date of birth, professional credentials, experiences, activities, skills, preferences and interests. MSD may also collect health information about you that you provide by responding to our questions and surveys or through your use of online and downloadable health-related tools we provide.
Consistent with the purposes identified and standards set within this policy and other applicable privacy notices that have been provided, in some cases MSD consolidates and uses personal information that individuals share with MSD through various services and channels, such as the telephone, surveys, websites and other online resources and communications, in order to enhance the quality of services that we offer to you.
Uses made of information
Online social media resources are interactive tools that typically enable you to collaborate and share information with others. Some examples of social media resources include social networks, discussion boards, bulletin boards, blogs, wikis, and referral functions to share website content and tools with a friend or colleague. MSD may collect personal information from you to enable you to use online social media resources we may offer from time to time. MSD may also enable you to use these social media resources to post or share personal information with others. You should consider carefully what information about yourself you choose to share with others when you use social media resources. MSD provides additional notice and choices about how personal information is collected, used and disclosed on our websites and other online resources that offer social media.
Some MSD websites and online resources are designed specifically for use on mobile computing devices. Some mobile versions of MSD websites may require that you log in with your user account for that website. Information about your use of the mobile version of the website will be associated with your user account. Some of our websites and online resources enable you to download an application, widget or other tool that you can use on your mobile or other computing device. Some of these tools may store information on your mobile or other device. These tools may transmit personal information to MSD to enable you to access your user account and to enable MSD to track use of these tools. Some of these tools may enable you to e-mail reports and other information from the tool. MSD may use personal or non-identifiable information transmitted to MSD to enhance these tools, to develop new tools, for quality improvement and as otherwise described in this Policy or in other notices MSD provides.
Storing your personal information
All information you provide to us is stored on secure servers. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with anyone.
You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such purposes by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer, details of which can be found below. When you receive communications from us, you may indicate a preference to stop receiving further communications from us by "opting-out" via the unsubscribe instructions provided in the communication you receive.
In addition, you have the following rights:
- To withdraw, at any time, your consent to the processing of personal information by MSD, without affecting the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal;
- To be made aware of the existence of automated decision-making or profiling, and to be provided meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the consequences of such processing of personal information.
Information collected from public or third party sources
MSD may collect personal information about Ireland health care professionals who register on our websites from public or third party information sources to verify their professional credentials and identity. In some cases, we may augment our existing user databases with information from third parties. Some of this information may be personal information, such as change of postal address information.
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we place on your computer's hard drive. On MSD websites, these cookies record information about your online preferences and allow MSD to improve your experience on its sites. While many websites may set cookies on your device if your browser settings permit this, an MSD website can only access cookies we have sent you. MSD does not share any personal information gathered by the cookies with third parties. MSD websites typically use two types of cookies:
- Analytical/performance cookies: these allow MSD to count the number of visitors to its websites and see how the site is navigated. This information allows MSD to improve the way its websites work.
- Functionality cookies: these cookies enable you to personalise the content of MSD's websites and allow the site to remember your preferences such as font size, text colour and, where relevant, user ID/login details. Further information about the types of cookies, and how to control or remove cookies, is available at allaboutcookies.org.
Information collected from your computer or other electronic device
We collect information about your computer or other electronic device when you visit our websites and use our online resources. This information may include your Internet Protocol (IP) address, domain name, browser type, date and time of your request and information provided by tracking technologies, such as cookies and single-pixel tags. If you use a mobile device to access our websites and online resources, we also may collect information about your device, such as your device ID and device type, as well as usage information about your device and your use of our mobile websites and other mobile resources.
Some of our websites and other online resources use tracking technologies to provide additional functionality that enables you to use these resources more effectively. MSD uses tracking technologies in ways that do not identify you personally, such as to track accurately numbers of users or referring sites or advertisements to our online resources, or to remember whether you have identified yourself as a health care professional or a resident of a particular country. MSD does not control the tracking technologies used by companies it uses to deliver e-mail communications.
In some cases, MSD may use tracking technologies in ways that identify you personally, but only after you have entered personal information into a form or data field on our websites, or where we have registered you to use our online resources by providing a user ID and password based on information validated through other offline interactions with you. We may use tracking technologies to remember your personal preferences and selections, such as personal information that you have entered into data fields on our websites, answers that you have provided in response to our surveys, sections of our websites that you visit frequently, or to confirm whether you have read or clicked on certain e-mail communications we send to you so that we can make our communications more useful and interesting to you.
How does MSD protect the privacy of children?
In general, MSD websites are not directed at children and most of the online services that we offer are designed for individuals who are 18 years of age or older.
Securing your personal information
MSD will take reasonable steps to protect personal information as it is transmitted from your computer to our online resources and servers, as well
as to protect personal information in its possession from unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration or destruction. It is your personal responsibility to secure your own copies of your passwords and related access codes for our online resources.
Should you wish to access personal information about you and to keep it accurate, complete and current, or if you have questions about this policy or MSD's information practices, you may contact us at the address below. When you contact us, please note the name of the website or other online resource you used or to which you provided personal information, as well as the nature of any information that you provided. We will use reasonable efforts to respond promptly to requests, questions or concerns you may have regarding access to personal information about you collected online or our use of personal information about you in accordance with our legal obligations. We may contact you for follow up information and may share your inquiry with other individuals within MSD or working for MSD that are responsible for functions related to the subject of your inquiry. Except where required by law, MSD cannot ensure a response to questions or comments regarding topics unrelated to this policy or MSD's privacy practices.
The Data Protection Officer
Red Oak North,
South County Business Park
Leopardstown, Dublin 18
Changes to this policy
MSD may update this policy periodically. MSD reserves the right to modify, add or remove portions of this privacy statement at its discretion. If we decide to change this policy, we will post the amended policy at this site or in some cases, may provide notice of the changes by e-mail. Your continued use of the Site after that period means that you agree to be bound by the modified terms.
Updated April 2019
Last updated on April 2019
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