The Vaccine and Cervical Cancer Screen project 2 (VACCS 2): Linking cervical cancer screening to a two-dose HPV vaccination schedule in the South- West District of Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa
Background: Cervical cancer is a preventable disease with a high prevalence in South Africa (SA), where screening is opportunistic. Primary prevention is now possible through HPV vaccination. In VACCS 1 the feasibility of linking cervical cancer with HPV vaccination was demonstrated.
Objectives: To investigate the feasibility of linking HPV self-testing with a two-dose HPV vaccination schedule and to compare results with VACCS 1.
Methods: The project was conducted in five schools in the South-West District of Tshwane, Gauteng, SA. Leaflet information on cervical cancer and screening was provided, with requests for consent and assent for a two-dose HPV vaccination of schoolgirls. Female caregivers were invited to take part in HPV self-screening.
Results: Of 965 girls invited for vaccination, 519 (53.7%) had full consent and 518 (99.8%) received at least one vaccine dose. The invited uptake rate was 53.7% and 495 girls received both doses, giving a completion rate of 95.4% v. 82.6% in VACCS 1. Of 1 135 self-screen kits handed out, 560 (49.3%) were not returned. The mean age (standard deviation) of the 160 women who participated in self-screening was 38.7 (7.7) years. HPV testing was negative in 116 women (72.5%), 15 women (9.4%) tested positive for HPV 16 and/or 18, and 27 (16.9%) were positive for non-16/18 oncogenic HPV.
Conclusion: Data from the VACCS projects suggest that school-based vaccine programmes can be successfully implemented. A two-dose schedule allowed for higher completion rates. Linking self-collected HPV screening to HPV vaccination is feasible, is a promising and viable screening strategy, and reached the appropriate age group for screening.
Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].
Material submitted for publication in the SAMJ is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The SAMJ does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.
Previously published images
If an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.