Opinion Paper

Cervical cancer prevention in settings of high HIV prevalence

Sonia Menon
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 12, No 2 | a192 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v12i2.192 | © 2011 Sonia Menon | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 December 2011 | Published: 26 May 2011

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Sonia Menon, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Alumni

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Abstract

Despite being a preventable disease, cervical cancer is still the second most common cancer in women worldwide. HIV infection is associated with a higher incidence, more rapid progression, and increased recurrence rates of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia and invasive cancer. The disease burden in developing countries is the result of inadequate national health care infrastructures that cannot establish or sustain comprehensive screening programmes, together with a high prevalence of HIV infection, particularly in southern Africa. In this article, clinically relevant issues for primary prevention of cervical lesions by a quadrivalent HPV vaccine and the ‘screen-and-treat’ protocol in settings of high HIV prevalence will be explored.

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