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From potential to practice: how accelerating access to HPV tests and screen and treat programmes can help eliminate cervical cancer
  1. William Cherniak1,2,
  2. Nikki Tyler3,
  3. Kriti Arora1,
  4. Ilana Lapidos-Salaiz3,
  5. Emma Sczudlo1,
  6. Amy Lin3,
  7. Matthew Barnhart3,
  8. John Flanigan4 and
  9. Shannon Silkensen4
  1. 1 Bridge to Health Medical and Dental, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Bureau for Global Health, USAID, Washington, DC, USA
  4. 4 Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr William Cherniak; w.cherniak{at}


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaigns to prevent cervical cancer are being considered and implemented in countries around the world. While vaccination will protect future generations, it will not help the millions of women currently infected, leading to an estimated 311 000 deaths per year globally. This paper examines a selection of strategies that when applied to both existing and new technologies, could accelerate access to HPV testing. Authors from the US Agency for International Development, the National Institutes of Health, and the Bridge to Health Medical and Dental, a non-governmental organisation, joined forces to propose a scalable and country-directed solution for preventing cervical cancer using an end-to-end approach. Collectively, the authors offer seven evidence-based strategies, that when used alone or in combination have the ability to reduce HPV-caused cervical cancer deaths and disability. These strategies include (1) consistent HPV test intervals to decrease HPV DNA test costs; (2) exploring market shaping opportunities; (3) employing iterative user research methodologies like human-centred design; (4) target product profiles for new HPV tests; (5) encouraging innovation around cervical cancer screen and treat programmes; (6) developing national cancer control plans; and (7) integrating cervical cancer screen and treat services into existing infrastructure. By using the strategies outlined here, in combination with HPV vaccination campaigns, national governments will be able to scale and expand cervical cancer screening programmes and provide evidence-based treatment programmes for HPV-infected women.

  • early detection of cancer
  • public health
  • global health
  • family medicine
  • public health systems research

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  • Twitter @williamcherniak

  • Contributors WC, JF and MB conceived the study. NT, SS, KA, ILS, ES and AL participated in meetings around the paper. WC wrote the first draft with contributions of primary writing from all the authors. All authors reviewed, edited and approved the final draft of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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