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Prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is the most promissory public health tool for primary prevention of cervical cancer. Immunization of females before the acquisition of HPV infection has the greatest impact in preventing pre-neoplasic lesions and cervical cancer. Current HPV vaccines do not eliminate cervical cancer risk, therefore, screening should continue covering vaccinated as well as women that do not get the vaccine. The strategies that include combination of high-coverage vaccination of HPV-unexposed adolescents with screening using methods with higher sensitivity than cytology as HPV test may be more cost-effective than the strategies currently used. The cytology-based screening programs of Latin America countries including Colombia are very ineffective. The evidence in favor of the cost-effectiveness of other screening strategies such as HPV tests and visual inspection followed by immediate treatment for women with difficult access to health care services in developing countries warrants the immediate revision of the current strategies.

Nubia Muñoz, Agencia Internacional de Investigación del Cáncer

Ex-jefe, Unidad de Estudios de Campo y de Intervención, Agencia Internacional de Investigación del Cáncer (IARC), Lyon, Francia. Científica Emérita, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Bogotá, Colombia.

Julio César Reina, Universidad del Valle

Profesor Emérito e Investigador del Departamento de Pediatría, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Valle y del Centro Médico Imbanaco, Cali, Colombia.

Gloria Inés Sánchez, Universidad de Antioquia

Profesora Asistente, Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina. Coordinadora, Grupo Infección y Cáncer, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.
Muñoz, N., Reina, J. C., & Sánchez, G. I. (2008). The human papillomavirus vaccine: A powerful tool for the primary prevention of cervical cancer. Colombia Medica, 39(2), 196–202.


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