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2023: In Review

In this special 10th anniversary year of NOMAN is an Island: Race to End HPV, we are indebted to you, our supporters and community, for being with us on this journey. Thanks to your support, we achieved great milestones in our mission to prevent 5% of all cancers.

A record number of countries implemented policies this year to protect their sons as well as their daughters against the carcinogenic virus, HPV. It is clear the time for gender-neutral HPV vaccination is now, thanks to your invaluable support.

Leading the charge for global gender-neutral HPV vaccination

Above: Discussing jabs for the boys with former NZ Prime Minister, Helen Clark; our partnership with GAMH

In 2023, a record number of countries added boys into their HPV vaccination programmes, alongside girls. But gender-neutral HPV immunisation programmes, the most effective means we have to prevent HPV cancers, are still only utilised in the minority of programmes globally. If this year is anything to go by, it won’t be the case for long.

In the past year we have seen increased vaccine supplies made available, new studies highlighting the effectiveness of gender-neutral immunisation, increased calls for inclusion on vaccine equity and gender-equality grounds, an incredible 10th anniversary year NOMAN row, and the opportunity to speed up progress towards the elimination of cervical cancer, and in turn all HPV cancers.

Yet there is still work to be done. NOMAN continues to lead global advocacy efforts for the inclusion of boys into countries' HPV immunisation programmes. In 2023, we joined the Global HPV Consortium's launch in Kuala Lumpur to scope out the framework to take global action on HPV cancers, spoke at a panel discussion in Belgium: Elimination of HPV Cancers: Dream or Reality? (REALITY!), partnered with Global Action on Men’s Health (GAMH) to develop an evidence-based case for gender-neutral HPV vaccination globally, and so much more. The milestones outlined in this report on the progress we’ve made, are in large part thanks to your support. 

In 2024, we'll continue our work to identify key stakeholders for partnership and advocacy, and build on our growing international alliance to end HPV cancers.

Eliminating HPV Cancers in Europe

Above: HPV Prevention Policy Atlas; with Cătălin Teniță MP at the Romanian parliament, HPV Action Now launches in Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria

Our partnership with the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) through the HPV Action Network is leading a growing movement in Europe to eliminate HPV cancers. 

In 2023, the HPV Prevention Policy Atlas was launched in collaboration between EPF & ECO, providing insights into how Europe performs across three key areas in HPV prevention: immunization, screening, and online information. The Atlas provides information on  the inequalities that exist in HPV prevention along with recommendations for policymakers and legislators to tackle HPV cancers. Informed by the Atlas,the HPV Action Network began programs to support advocacy work in countries that are falling behind. In 2023, national networks and in-country coordinators were appointed in Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. At the HPV Action Romania launch at Parliament in October 2023, the Health Minister announced that HPV vaccinations would be fully reimbursed for all children up to 18 on a gender-neutral basis. 

EU-wide efforts are also underway. Protect-Europe, an EU-funded project aiming to increase HPV vaccination uptake across member states, will provide insights to drive HPV prevention efforts in member states. The HPV Action Network also responded to the European Commission consultation on vaccine-preventable cancers (the Commission is expected to announce its policy in 2024), and joined the Mission Board on Vaccination in Europe, chaired by Professor Walter Ricciardi. 

A Roadmap for the Elimination of HPV Cancers in the United Kingdom

Above: NOMAN's David Winterflood at 10 Downing Street to discuss HPV elimination; the HPV Coalition roadmap.

Launched at parliament in Westminster in autumn 2022 and co-chaired by the NOMAN Campaign, the HPV Coalition brings together expert stakeholders to advocate for the elimination of HPV-related cancers in the UK in both men and women. 

As a first step in the journey to a UK free from HPV-related cancers, the HPV Coalition published a Roadmap towards making the elimination of all HPV-related cancers a reality across the UK in May 2023. The Roadmap, developed in consultation with the Coalition’s expert membership group, sets the key milestones and building blocks needed to achieve the elimination of all HPV-related cancers as a public health threat  – with cervical cancer as the first step.

 The building blocks are:

  1. National and regional leadership and accountability

  2. Improving education on HPV to tackle stigma and drive access to prevention

  3. Making sure everyone has equitable access to screening and early diagnosis

  4. Restoring and boosting immunisation uptake, including catch-up programmes

  5. Enhancing the data, digital, and workforce infrastructure

  6. Embracing future innovations

The Roadmap received national media coverage at launch, including an OpEd authored by NOMAN’s David Winterflood in The Times.

The HPV Coalition called for governments in all four devolved nations to put in place a concrete plan for elimination. The Roadmap presented the coalition with the platform to engage with key decision makers to make this goal a reality. This included securing a Westminster Hall debate on HPV vaccination attended by MPs, and meetings with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) the government agency responsible for England-wide public health protection and infectious disease capability, NHS England, and an invitation to 10 Downing Street to brief the Prime Minister’s Health Adviser. 

In November 2023, NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040, a key step in the journey to the elimination of all HPV cancers. In December, NHS England’s first ever Vaccination Strategy was published containing a positive focus on improving HPV vaccination coverage rates.

In 2024, we'll engage with NHS England as a partner in the implementation of the elimination ambition, to ensure that HPV prevention stays at the top of the agenda should there be a change of government. We'll work with local systems to improve HPV prevention, and to advocate for similar commitments towards elimination in the devolved nations.

10th Anniversary Row to End HPV

Above: a record year for rowing and riding to end HPV cancers

10 years ago, two intrepid crews of adventurers struck out from Barcelona across the Mediterranean for an adventure which captured the imagination and launched the our global programs to end HPV cancers through gender-neutral vaccination. In 2023, we celebrated the 10th anniversary edition of our Barcelona - Ibiza: Row to End HPV, our legendary Mediterranean ocean rowing races which pit participants in a test of physical and mental fortitude. Joined by Olympic Gold medalist Will Satch MBE, our rowers battled the Med amidst a searing European heatwave, generating conversation and awareness, and raised funds from around the world to support our programmes.

NOMAN riders also tackled the landscapes best known on Swiss postcards, Crans-Montana in June and Mont Ventoux of Provence in October. NOMAN is the official charity of the Haute Route cycling events. In partnership with Santini, our END HPV socks decorated over 1,600 riders during the year, from the Spanish Pyrenees to the Italian Dolomites, spreading our message of ending HPV cancers via stylish sartorial means!

Thank you for everything you do to support our mission to end HPV cancers and save countless lives.


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