Monday, March 14, 2011

HPV and cervical cancer in South Africa

A recent report published by the WHO about Human Pappiloma Virus is South Africa highlighted the huge risk for women.  The report claimed that 16.84 million women are at risk for developing cervical cancer caused by HPV.   In South Africa about six thousand women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.  The real incidence may be much higher since these are merely the diagnosed cases.  Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in South Africa.  In South Africa, approximately 21% of women are infected with HPV.  The large HIV epidemic is thought to have increased the spread of HPV through immunocompromsed individuals.  Although there is a vaccine for HPV, it is not widely available in South Africa.  This article brings up ethical questions about where money should be spent in resource limited settings.  Should South Africa fund HPV vaccines when they still have a huge need for ARVs?

Hannah Harrison

No comments:

Post a Comment