We have known for years that HIV infection, which causes immune dysfunction, is associated with a higher incidence and prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and related cancers such as cervical cancer. In fact cervical cancer rates are highest in countries that also suffer high rates of HIV infection (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa). Recently what we have learned is that HPV infection may in turn increase the risk of acquiring HIV infection. If indeed this is correct it may be possible to decrease HIV incidence, perhaps by ~30%, through HPV vaccination. We are currently conducting a Preparedness Trial in South Africa among women at very high risk for HIV with the goal of building the infrastructure to formally test whether in HPV vaccination reduces HIV infection in a future large Phase III Trial. The research funds generously provided by ACRCF is contributing needed resources to conducting the current Phase III Trial.
Anna R. Giuliano, PhD
Center for Infection Research in Cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center
HPV Vaccine Trial Team