BACKGROUND : Cervical cancer is preventable, but still highly prevalent in South Africa (SA). Screening strategies in the country have been
ineffective, and new ways to prevent the disease are needed.
OBJECTIVES : To investigate the feasibility of linking cervical cancer screening in adult women to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination
METHODS : Ten primary schools in the South-West District of Tshwane, Gauteng Province, SA, took part in the study. Cervical cancer and
HPV vaccine information was provided to schoolgirls and their parents. Consented schoolgirls were vaccinated and their female parents
were invited to participate in self-screening.
RESULTS : Among 1 654 girls invited for vaccination, the consented and invited uptake rates were 99.4% and 64.0%, respectively. Vaccine
completion rates were higher in schools where the vaccination programme was completed in the same calendar year than in those where
it was administered over two calendar years. Of 569 adult females invited, 253 (44.5%) returned screen tests; 169 (66.8%) tested negative
and 75 (29.6%) positive for any high-risk HPV (hrHPV). There were no differences in level of education, employment status or access to
healthcare between women with positive and those with negative screen results.
CONCLUSIONS : Implementation of HPV vaccination in a primary school-based programme was successful, with high vaccine uptake and completion
rates. Self-screening reached the ideal target group, and it is possible to link cervical cancer screening to the cervical cancer vaccine by giving
women the opportunity of self-sampling for hrHPV testing. This is a novel and feasible approach that would require some adaptive strategies.
More than 40 genital types of HPV have been identified, of which 15 are known to be oncogenic. High risk HPV types cause all cervical cancers and true cervical pre cancer lesions, including cervical intra epithelial neoplasie ...
In 2009, The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) awarded its biggest research grant to date to the HPV Cervical Cancer Research Fund, under the auspices of Prof Greta Dreyer. This grant enabled a group of researchers ...
Cervical cytology is a well-established screening tool for cervical neoplasia. The introduction of the Papanicolaou test in the 1950's has led to sustained reductions in both the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer ...