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#SmearForSmear 2020 is here! It's Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20-26 January) and we're asking you to help us get the facts out about HPV and smear tests. 

Smear tests can prevent cervical cancer so we want everyone to understand what the test is for and feel comfortable when they get their results. That means knowing what HPV is. Find out why >

HPV is a really common virus, but there are lots of myths and stigma which can cause shame, fear and confusion.


Help us smear the myths and stigma!

#SmearForSmear HPV mythsEmbarrassing, rare, dirty, and scary. These are just some of the words people can associate with HPV. Together, we can change this.

You can help by sharing a share a smear on social media. Whether it’s a lipstick selfie or a myth about HPV, we want to get people talking about HPV and smear tests. You can use one of our graphics or create one of your own. Smear your makeup, paint, whatever you have - it’s up to you!

Don’t forget to use #SmearForSmear and tag us - @JoTrust on Twitter and @JosCervicalCancerTrust on Instagram. Get some inspiration below or download one of our graphics.

Don’t want to smear a myth? Share our film instead to help raise awareness >

Suggested posts

If you’re not sure what to post, why not use one of our ideas below? You might want to share your own experience of having HPV or a tip to help someone feeling nervous about their smear test.

80% of us get HPV, so why is there so much stigma around the virus? Let's smear the myths and start again. Join #SmearForSmear to help @JoTrust share the facts: jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear


Smear tests aren’t always easy but they can prevent cervical cancer. This week join #SmearForSmear to help @JoTrust smear the myths and get the facts out: jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear


Get the facts about HPV

  • At some point in our lives, 4 out of 5 (80%) of us will get at least one type of HPV. 
  • In most cases the immune system will get rid of it. Around 90% of HPV infections clear within 2 years.
  • HPV infections do not usually have any symptoms, so you may not even know you had it.
  • HPV lives on our skin, so it is easy to get and difficult to completely protect against.
  • You are at risk of getting HPV from your first sexual contact, whatever that is – it doesn’t have to be penetrative sex.
  • We can have HPV for a long time without knowing about it, so it is hard to know when we got HPV or who we got it from.
  • Cervical screening (a smear test) can find a high-risk HPV virus and changes early, before it develops into cancer.
  • For more information: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/hpv.

Calling the Jo's helplineGet support

Talk to someone about how you’re feeling, ask an expert or connect with others. Whatever is on your mind, we’re here for you.

If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of HPV, cervical screening or cervical cancer call our free helpline on 0808 802 8000 or find out about other support available >

Samantha's story

Actress and Disability Campaigner Samantha Renke shares her experience of HPV.

Hear her story
"When I first found out that I had cell changes and HPV, my boyfriend and I initially freaked out about it"
Read Nina's story