Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women worldwide. Approximately 83% of all new cases of cervical cancer and 85% of deaths from the disease take place in developing countries like South Africa. Compared to women and girls without HIV, HIV-positive women and girls are four to five times more likely to develop cervical cancer. In the Nkonkobe, Makana and Lukhanji sub-districts of South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, a program supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is working to increase cervical cancer screening for HIV-positive women. In 2010, teams trained and mentored more than 100 professional nurses and more than 30 non-professional nurses on cervical screening. This training helped to ensure quality cervical smears are conducted for all HIV-positive women at the facilities. In addition, the project helped secure appropriate space and essential equipment for the screening. As a result of the program, all 79 sites supported in the three districts have the capacity to provide life-saving screenings to women for cervical cancer.
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