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Preventing HPV in low- and middle-income countries

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A special International HPV Awareness Day online event, with Kirby Institute's Dr Dorothy Machalek and Professor Andrew Vallely

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In 2018, 311,000 women died from cervical cancer, with most of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. WHO's Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a public health problem, outlines three key steps: human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, cervical screening and early treatment. Successful global implementation of all three interventions is predicted to reduce more than 40% of new cases of the disease and 5 million related deaths by 2050.

For International HPV Awareness Day, we’ll be hearing from two Kirby Institute researchers working on innovative strategies to improve uptake of these highly effective preventions in settings with the highest disease burden: Dr Dorothy Machalek, who is investigating the impact of a single-dose HPV vaccine, and Professor Andrew Vallely, who is working on simple and accessible strategies for the early detection and treatment of cervical disease.

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		Preventing HPV in low- and middle-income countries image

Dorothy Machalek is a public health epidemiologist and Senior Research Fellow. She holds a Doctorate in epidemiology and a Master of Public Health from the University of New South Wales. Her research focuses on improving control of HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is the fourth-most common malignancy in women globally. Dr Machalek leads a National HPV Monitoring Program funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health. The program is evaluating the impact of Australia’s HPV vaccination program by tracking changes in HPV infection prevalence over time in different populations. She is also a Chief Investigator on a world-first project that is measuring the impact of one and two-dose HPV vaccine schedules in South Africa, co-funded by the NHMRC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Andrew Vallely is a clinical epidemiologist with over 20 years’ experience in international public health, HIV/STI and infectious disease interventions research. Andrew has designed and led multi-disciplinary research teams in Australia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, United Kingdom and Vanuatu. He has held a joint appointment with the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) since 2010, where he jointly established and led a new Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit, and was Deputy Director from 2010-15. His collaborative research group recently completed two large-scale field trials involving over 5000 women in PNG that evaluated the clinical performance, cost-effectiveness, health system implementation requirements, and acceptability of point-of-care HPV testing and same-day treatment for cervical screening in high-burden, low-resource settings.

Event page: https://kirby.unsw.edu.au/event/international-hpv-awareness-day

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