Experts converge on Montreal for HPV conference

Medical experts from across the world are meeting this week in Montreal, Canada, for the 26th annual International Papillomavirus Conference.

The goal of the conference is to make human papillomavirus vaccines more readily available to females from poor countries, conference coordinators told

Medical officials said during the kickoff of the conference that vaccines like Gardasil and Cervarix help protect sexually active young women, but only in developed countries.

Dr. Ibrahima Teguete, an obstetrician and gynecologist from the African country of Mali, told that, although HPV is a problem in his country, the technology for measuring infection rates is sorely lacking.

“In my own country there is no study about the prevalence of HPV, because we don't have the technology,” Teguete told, estimating that at least 80 percent of women infected by HPV in Mali are not treated. “People are going to die unjustly.”

Genital human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. It is estimated that 15 percent of infections lead to cervical cancer.

Officials with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, a public- private consortium, said they are striving to try to  negotiate and secure affordable prices for a vaccine that the world's poorest nations will be able to afford, according to