Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital warts and cancer of the cervix in some women. During regular Pap tests, samples can be also tested for presence of HPV virus. A positive HPV test only means that you have HPV in your cervix and it does not mean that you have or will develop cervical cancer.

Purpose of This Study

The purpose of this HPV study was to find out the presence of the HPV infections in NWT women. We also wanted to understand whether there are some life habits that increase the chance of having the infection. NWT public health professionals will use this information to develop effective cancer screening and prevention programs for women in the North.

How was the study done?

Nurses, midwives, and doctors asked women aged 18-69 years old to participate in the study by signing a consent form, completing a short questionnaire, and having a regular Pap test. No additional medical procedures were done other than the regular Pap test. There are no additional risks to participants, as the Pap smear is a safe examination. All information is strictly confidential as this study uses identification numbers for the data collected instead of participants’ names.

Where is the study being done?

Several communities throughout the NWT are in this study.

When is the study happening?     

Data was collected from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2010 and reports are currently being developed for all communities on the study results.

Who is doing the study?

NWT HPV Study partners are the International Polar Year, Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services, McGill University, and the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Yang Mao, Public Health Agency of Canada
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Paul Brassard, Department of Medicine, McGill University
NWT Project Coordinator: Candice Lys, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research

The full name of this study is: The Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Its Impact on Cervical Dysplasia in the Northwest Territories

For more information call Candice Lys at 1-888-698-2476 & 867-873-9337 or email hpv@ichr.ca.