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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 675858, 10 pages
Review Article

Aspects of Prophylactic Vaccination against Cervical Cancer and Other Human Papillomavirus-Related Cancers in Developing Countries

1School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland
2Faculty of Social Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L85 4L8

Received 2 February 2011; Accepted 12 May 2011

Academic Editor: Marc Arbyn

Copyright © 2011 Kari Natunen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cervical cancer and other human papillomavirus- (HPV-) related cancers are preventable, but preventive measures implemented in developing countries and especially in low-income rural regions have not been effective. Cervical cancer burden derived from sexually transmitted HPV infections is the heaviest in developing countries, and a dramatic increase in the number of cervical cancer cases is predicted, if no intervention is implemented in the near future. HPV vaccines offer an efficient way to prevent related cancers. Recently implemented school-based HPV vaccination demonstration programmes can help tackle the challenges linked with vaccine coverage, and access to vaccination and health services, but prevention strategies need to be modified according to regional characteristics. In urban regions WHO-recommended vaccination strategies might be enough to significantly reduce HPV-related disease burden, but in the rural regions additional vaccination strategies, vaccinating both sexes rather than only females when school attendance is the highest and applying a two-dose regime, need to be considered. From the point of view of both public health and ethics identification of the most effective prevention strategies is pivotal, especially when access to health services is limited. Considering cost-effectiveness versus justice further research on optional vaccination strategies is warranted.