Sexual and reproductive health

Human papillomavirus and HPV vaccines

Technical information for policy-makers and health professionals


World Health Organization, Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

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Publication details

Number of pages: 44
Publication date: 2007
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/IVB/07.05


Cervical cancer is estimated to have been responsible for almost 260 000 deaths in 2005, of which about 80% occurred in developing countries. Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

Recently, a vaccine that has the potential to prevent certain HPV infections, and hence reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and other anogenital cancers, has been licensed. Another vaccine is in advanced clinical testing. This document provides key information on HPV, HPV-related diseases and HPV vaccines, and is intended to underpin the guidance note (left) on HPV vaccine introduction, produced in 2006 by WHO and UNFPA.