WHO launch global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer

24 November 2020

Article: 54/4707

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem. The strategy focuses on successfully implementing the three key steps of vaccination, screening and treatment, with the aim of reducing more than 40% of new disease cases by 2050.

Meeting the following targets by 2030 will place all countries on the path toward elimination: 

  • 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by 15 years of age 
  • 70% of women screened using a high-performance test by age 35 and again by 45 
  • 90% of women identified with cervical disease receive treatment (90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed)

The launch of this new campaign comes as the WHO release new estimates of the global burden of cervical cancer associated with HIV, with women living with HIV having a six-fold increased risk of cervical cancer when compared to women without HIV. The WHO report that this higher risk manifests throughout the lifecycle, starting with an increased risk of acquiring human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, more rapid progression to cancer, lower chances of regression of pre-cancer lesions and higher rates of recurrence following treatment.  Globally, an estimated 5% of all cervical cancer cases are attributable to HIV, with these statistics varying by world region.

Sources: WHO, 17 November 2020 and WHO, 16 November 2020