Cervical cancer poses a serious threat to women in resource-limited settings, where an estimated 90% of all newly diagnosed cases develop.1 In women living with HIV, the progression from cervical pre-cancer to cancer is more rapid than in women without HIV.2
From 2013 to 2014, I-TECH supported cervical cancer screening and treatment through the organization of trainings on visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and cryotherapy, which helped build the capacity of providers and contributed to risk reduction in cervical cancer, as well as early diagnosis and treatment. Over that period, 156 women were screened, of which 23 were found to have pre-cancerous lesions. Thirteen of these women received cryotherapy and another 10 had a cervical biopsy.
I-TECH currently develops high-quality curricula, organizes training programs, and uses direct service delivery to strengthen and expand access to cervical cancer screening and treatment among women living with HIV; works with the Ministries of Health to update national cervical cancer screening and treatment guidelines; and strengthens routine quality assurance, supervision, mentorship, and coordination of cervical cancer providers.
1Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Control: A Guide to Essential Practice, 2nd Ed., World Health Organization.
2Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, National Institutes of Health.