First World HPV Day on Sunday 4 March 2018

Lucerne, 2 March 2018 – arch 4th, 2018, marks the first HPV Awareness Day launched by the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS), to raise awareness of the risks associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) and ways to prevent HPV-related cancers and diseases. The aim of HPV Awareness Day is to encourage governments and individuals worldwide to take action against HPV and help men and women everywhere benefit from prevention strategies, such as HPV vaccination and screening.1

What are human papilloma viruses?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a widespread and highly contagious virus. It is transmitted through genital contact and occurs in about 70 to 80% of all sexually active people during their lives. The HPV types infect the genital area, e. g. the anus, the skin of the vulva (outer vaginal region) as well as the inner walls of the vagina and cervix and can trigger diseases.

HPV infections and cervical cancer: Situation in Switzerland

For Switzerland, the estimates for newly diagnosed cases of cancer and genital warts caused by human papilloma viruses are included in the annual estimates for women and men:

Reference 2

Reference 3

About research and engagement of MSD

The link between HPV and cervical cancer was discovered in the mid-1970s. Since then, researchers have discovered that HPV can also cause other types of cancer in men and women.

MSD has been involved in the research and development of HPV vaccines for more than 20 years. Our work continues today in the sense of the World HPV Day to raise awareness among the population. For this reason, MSD has recently initiated the information campaign at the national level.

More information about the International HPV Day can be found here:


1 (viewed 01.03.2018)

2 Bundesamt für Gesundheit, Eidgenössische Kommission für Impffragen. HPV-Impfung: Ergänzende Impfempfehlung für Jungen und Männer im Alter von 11 bis 26 Jahren. BAG-Bulletin 10/2015. (viewed 01.03.2018)

3 Bundesamt für Gesundheit: HPV-bedingte Krebserkrankungen und Genitalwarzen; Stand Januar 2016. (viewed 01.03.2018)

About MSD

MSD is a leading global biopharmaceutical company which has been engaged in life science research for more than a century, developing drugs and vaccines for the most challenging diseases worldwide. MSD is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. With our prescription drugs, vaccines, biological therapies, and veterinary products, we offer innovative health solutions in over 140 countries. With wide-ranging programs and partnerships, we are also committed to achieving improved access to healthcare. Today MSD is still at the forefront of research for the prevention and treatment of diseases which threaten people and society around the world, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, new animal diseases, Alzheimer’s, and infectious diseases, including HIV and Ebola. For more information visit and follow us on Twitter.

MSD Human Medicine Switzerland

Switzerland is a key location for the company, which has 600 employees working there in national and international functions. The Human Medicine division in Switzerland is responsible for the distribution of prescription drugs and biopharmaceuticals in the areas of oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases (including anti-fungal, antibiotic resistance, HIV/Aids, and hepatitis C), immunology, women’s health as well as vaccines for children, young people, and adults.

MSD is active in clinical research in Switzerland, where the company provides medicines for clinical trials worldwide. Additionally, MSD is committed to raising health literacy and promoting the healthcare economy on a local level. The firm is also active in Lucerne, where the MSD headquarters are located. In 2018 the company received certification as a “Top Employer” in Switzerland for the sixth year in succession, as well as the “Top Employer Europe” award for the third time.

More information is available at:

Press contact:
Dr. Angelika März, Director Policy & Communications
MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme AG
Tel. +41 58 618 35 18 / Mobile 079 378 02 47

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VACC-1250063-0000, March 2018