Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccination against cervical cancer: a summarised resource for clinicians

  • Editorial Office SA Human Papillomavirus Advisory Board
Keywords: Prophylactic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, cervical cancer


Carcinoma of the cervix remains the most frequent cancer affecting women in South Africa. Twenty-three per cent of all reported cancers in women are of the uterine cervix. Cancer of the cervix resulted in an estimated 3 700 deaths in South Africa during 2002. The human papillomavirus (HPV) has been proven a potent carcinogen. The aetiological role of HPV infection in the development of preinvasive and invasive lesions of the cervix, vagina and the anogenital region has been conclusively established. Vaccination against infection with specific high-risk HPV is commercially available, and is likely to change the future of the disease.