Lessons Learned From HPV Vaccine Delivery in Low-Resource Settings and Opportunities for HIV Prevention, Treatment, and Care Among Adolescents

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Abstract

Background:

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to prevent cervical cancer have become available in recent years and presented a new challenge to health systems, since they prevent a sexually transmitted virus and are most effective if they are delivered to young adolescent girls, a group not widely served by other health programs. Demonstration and pilot HPV vaccination programs undertaken in the past 7–8 years in low-resource settings have produced lessons that may be more broadly applied to other adolescent health interventions, particularly to those that attempt to reduce human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Methods:

A systematic literature review was undertaken to identify formal and informal evaluations of HPV vaccine use in low- and middle-income countries. Special attention was devoted to the detailed evaluations carried out on large demonstration projects in India, Peru, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Results:

These lessons fall into 2 main categories: service delivery operations and community outreach and mobilization. Operational issues included venue and timing of vaccinations, definition of target population, micro-planning and coordination, integration with other services, and training. Community issues included consent, messages and channels, endorsement and support, and timing of mobilization efforts.

Discussion:

Careful planning, good coordination across sectors and levels, and sensitive attention to the expressed needs for information and preferences for communication channels among youth, parents, and communities more broadly were among the key lessons that are relevant for HIV interventions, but many of the smaller details were also important.

Conclusions:

Applying or adapting these lessons to adolescent HIV services could accelerate effective program design and enhance success.

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