HPV, prevention is on stage at the Rome Film Festival

HPV, prevention is on stage at the Rome Film Festival

If you could go back in time, what would you change about your past? How many times have we asked ourselves this question and certainly all those who are facing an illness that they would gladly do without have asked it. The short film ‘Rewrite’ promoted by MSD Italia with the patronage of SItI – Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, tries to make us reflect on the importance of information and prevention, a modern fairy tale halfway between reality and fantasy presented in exclusive at the Rome Film Festival.

The story of many women

The protagonist of the short film is Linda, a young woman who, in a hospital bed, finds herself reflecting on her past and rethinking the decisions she made in her life before being diagnosed with a tumor caused by HPV. Papillomavirus (HPV – Human Papilloma Virus) infection is the most frequent sexually transmitted infection. Papillomavirus has been classified as the second pathogen responsible for cancer in the world. Just as happened to the protagonist of the short film, it can cause tumors of the uterine cervix, anus, vagina, vulva, penis, oral cavity, pharynx and larynx.

The role of prevention

In Italy, over 6,500 cases each year are attributed to chronic infections of oncogenic strains of the human papilloma virus and determines the totality of those in the uterine cervix (2,400 diagnoses in 2022 alone). Preventing HPV-related cancers is possible thanks to the synergy between primary and secondary prevention. This can lead to great economic benefits as well as the promotion of public health. The total direct costs related to HPV infections, in fact, are estimated at over 542 million euros per year. “Speaking of primary prevention, as regards HPV we have a vaccine available with a demonstrated safety and efficacy profile that covers over 90% of tumor forms associated with the virus,” he declares Roberta Siliquini, president of SItI, Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health. In relation to cervical cancer, secondary prevention offers us the possibility of intercepting early, with screening, both the presence of HPV through viral DNA research and the presence of lesions (Pap test), offering us the opportunity to intervene in time on a pathology that has a lethality of around 20%. In our country, unfortunately, we are witnessing low adherence to both vaccination, which is also offered free of charge within the PNPV to all adolescents, male and female, who retain the right to vaccination throughout their lives, and to the Pap test for neck cancer. of the uterus (uterine cervix) which is offered to women free of charge. We take little advantage of these tools, which we must instead learn to use.”

The new National Vaccine Prevention Plan 2023-2025

In line with the objective of eliminating HPV tumors established by the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the new National Vaccine Prevention Plan 2023-2025 sets the achievement of anti-HPV vaccination for 95% of adolescents of both sexes and requires the recovery of unvaccinated subjects, guaranteeing the right to free vaccination up to at least 26 years of age for girls and up to 18 years for boys. “The Ministry of Health has included the prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases among the priority objectives in the National Vaccine Prevention Plan 2023-2025 – declares Francesco Vaia, general director of Prevention at the Ministry of Health. “The regions, the local health authorities, the doctors and the pharmacists are called upon to make this commitment. Communication must also play its part so that all those who are entitled to vaccination and screening as LEA are adequately informed and adhere to it with awareness. In Italy we still have too many cases of HPV-related tumors in both women and men, when vaccination exists that can prevent them and coverage is too low and far from the objective set by the WHO. Communication to citizens is fundamental and the Ministry will be committed to this and all correct information initiatives are welcome which, as in this case, the Ministry willingly authorizes as long as they are scientifically correct”.

Inform with empathy

Especially for the new generations, today information travels through images and the ability to capture their elusive attention rather than through the written word. The short film Rewritedirected by the director Mattia Lunardi, through the narrative device of time travel, informs, raises awareness, excites and leads us to discover how the choices we make in the present are fundamental to writing our future. The story follows the story of Linda, a young woman who, in a hospital bed, finds herself reflecting on her past and rethinking the decisions she has made in her life. Thanks to the narrative technique of “sliding doors” and of the flashback, Linda has the opportunity to go back and ‘Rewrite‘ his past.

Inclusive communication

Gently winding through the emotions, feelings and misunderstandings of the protagonists, the short film (produced by Brandon Box) highlights the complexity of personal and family relationships and invites us to reflect on the importance of information to make informed choices that can decide the course of events. “We are proud to be partners of the institutions in building solutions for today’s growing challenges, because it is and must always be people and their needs that guide the work of all of us – he declares Nicoletta Luppi, president and CEO of MSD Italia. The daily commitment is to reach all patients and all women and men who can avoid the disease with vaccines. The short film “Rewrite” wants to communicate in a different and inclusive way and wants to leverage frequent situations in families to make people understand that today’s choices write our future and that of the people we love”. The project is enriched by a showcase landing page dedicated to curiosities about the realization of the project: www.msdsalute.it/riscrivere

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