Two Diseases, One Response

New amfAR policy brief highlights the intersection between HIV, HPV, and cervical cancer with an emphasis on co-investment opportunities to advance elimination goals worldwide 

Globally, HIV and cervical cancer are major and mutually reinforcing health concerns for women — each contributing to significant morbidity and mortality. Women living with HIV (WLHIV) are six times more likely to develop cervical cancer than those without HIV, and HPV infection (the primary cause of cervical cancer) doubles the risk of acquiring HIV. Additionally, countries with the greatest HIV prevalence also rank among the highest for cervical cancer incidence. Integrating HIV and HPV services is critical to addressing these dual epidemics, promoting women’s health, and averting deaths from these highly preventable diseases. National governments, donors, policymakers, and researchers can prioritize these overlapping issues through policy, integrated programming, and collaborative investment strategies.

The dual burden of HIV and cervical cancer is generally concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa.

The lead authors from amfAR’s Andelson Office of Public Policy—Jennifer Sherwood, PhD, Director of Research, and Siena Senn, MPH, Allan Rosenfield Public Policy Fellow—describe different service integration models that range from training existing clinic staff to engaging broad referral networks, all of which are tailored to the unique needs of WLHIV. They also offer concrete recommendations to expand primary prevention with ART coverage and HPV vaccination, increase access to cervical cancer screening and treatment tools, enhance data availability, build multi-sectoral partnerships, and maximize technological innovations. Ultimately, integrating HIV, HPV, and cervical cancer efforts is essential to ending these dual epidemics and save lives.

The policy brief was launched on May 30, 2024 at a philanthropic webinar titled “Advancing Global Health Equity: Investing in Integrated HIV, HPV, and Cervical Cancer Initiatives,” co-sponsored by amfAR with Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) and Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE). At this donor-education event, experts shared perspectives on current initiatives within the field, experiences with on-the-ground programming, and information on how philanthropic donors could become more involved in HIV/HPV integration work.

Panelists included Dr. Carla Chibwesha from the University of North Carolina, Dr. Catharine Young from the Biden Cancer Moonshot and White House Office of Science and Technology Progress, Dr. Alison Footman from AVAC, Dr. Oluwasanmi Akintade at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), and Smiljka de Lussigny at Unitaid. The conversation was moderated by amfAR’s Dr. Jennifer Sherwood.

Read the full brief here.

Share This: