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Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Why is it important?

Each year in the U.S., over 11,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and over 4,000 women will die. Half of all cervical cancers occur in women who have never had a Pap test.  Cervical cancer is highly curable when found early.

Almost all cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccines can prevent two known cervical cancer causing strains of HPV when administered before exposure. The HPV vaccines can prevent against 70% of cervical cancers. Each year in the US there are an estimated new 33,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers each year.


The HPV Workgroup also functions as the task force for the North Dakota Immunization Program.

HPV Priorities

  1. Increase HPV immunization rates in North Dakota
  2. Develop educational materials for parents, providers, and teens
  3. Assist in increasing immunization rates by providing subcontract guidance
  4. Review materials developed by other programs for statewide distribution
  5. Facilitate partnerships for improving HPV vaccination and prevention education

2016-2017 Workgroup Activities:

  • Developed Oral Cancer Awareness Month Social Media Toolkit.
  • Partnered with the ND Dental Association to provide education to dental health professionals about HPV-associated cancer.
  • Updated materials with new vaccine schedule.
  • Provided education for medical professionals regarding screening guidelines.
  • Identifying champions in health systems to increase understanding of vaccine need and safety.
  • Presented in conjunction with American Cancer Society and Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board in 3 part web series for healthcare providers.
  • Members presented about the current strategies and technology use in North Dakota including implementing school-based HPV clinics on multiple national presentations.


Contact for Workgroup Liaison:

Molly Howell