AIDS 2022: HIV and Cervical Cancer

Comprehensive HIV care should incorporate routine cervical cancer screening. Because a study conducted at Newlands Clinic showed a high prevalence of high-risk papilloma virus in women living with HIV causing this type of cancer. Our team presented its findings at the AIDS 2022 conference in Montreal, Canada.

HIV and cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the most common gynecological cancer in Zimbabwe. Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPC) has been established as the necessary cause of cervical cancer. Women living with HIV are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer, and comprehensive HIV care should include routine cervical cancer screening. The 2021 WHO guidelines for the screening of cervical pre-cancer and cancer recommend the detection of HPV DNA as the primary test. The study of our Medical Doctor Dr. Tarisai Kufa describes the hr-HPV prevalence and subtype distribution in a Zimbabwean cohort of women living with HIV. This study found a high prevalence of hr-HPV (53%) in women living with HIV. The high prevalence of hr-HPV in this cohort highlights the necessity of cervical cancer screening in women living with HIV. The primary prevention of HPV infection through vaccination programs is essential if the goal of the elimination of CC in Zimbabwe is to be attained.

Poster: HIV and cervical cancer