Preventing Cervical Cancer

Photo by San Jose Library

Photo by San Jose Library

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GGG_countries_cervical cancerPreventing cervical cancer- examining the barriers and facilitators to adolescent vaccine uptake in Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea and Spain

Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women, accounting for nearly 10% of all cancer deaths. It is more common in low-income countries, where the rates are nearly twice as high as in more developed countries and regions. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a precursor to the development of nearly all cervical cancer cases. Effective HPV vaccines have been developed and are now widely available. However, many adolescent girls in countries with high numbers of cervical cancer deaths have not yet been vaccinated.


A five-country study in Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea and Spain, led by Gillings faculty, is exploring the factors that facilitate HPV vaccination as well as barriers to vaccination and how to overcome them. Read More

Little is known about why many young girls ages 9-14 in the five countries covered by the study have not yet been vaccinated. Led by Gillings professor Jennifer Smith, the project is examining facilitators to HPV vaccination as well as barriers to vaccination and opportunities to reduce these barriers.  Through focus groups and interviews with parents and immunization providers, the study is also exploring the potential acceptability of an alternate two- versus three-dose HPV vaccination schedule and examining the behavioral, structural and cultural issues that increase or reduce vaccine acceptability. The research will result in practical recommendations for increasing the uptake of this life-saving cancer prevention vaccine among young girls.

Project Team


Sponsored by: GlaxoSmithKline

Total funding: $508,761


Silvina Ramos
Investigadora titular
Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES)

Karen Morgan PhD, Reg Psychol PsSI.
Academic Lead, Psychology & Behavioural Sciences,
PU-RCSI School of Medicine

South Korea
Chan Joo KIM
Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine
St. Paul’s Hospital

South Africa
Karin Richter, MBChB, FC (Path) Medical Virology, MMed (Path) Virology, Dip HIV Man, Dip Obst
Clinical Virologist
Department of Medical Virology
University of Pretoria
National Health Laboratory Service

Silvia de Sanjosé, M.D., PhD.
Unit of Infections and Cancer | Cancer Epidemiology Research Programme | IDIBELL | CIBERESP
Institut Català d’Oncologia

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