(RxWiki News) GlaxoSmithKline has granted an unrestricted gift to the Indiana University School of Medicine, in partnership with the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation, to focus research efforts on cervical-cancer prevention.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV ranks as the most common sexually transmitted disease among teenage girls in the U.S. Nearly 30 percent of sexually active 14- to 19-year-old females are infected at any one time. Persistent infection with certain strains of the virus have been shown to cause cervical cancer.
With that in mind, Cervical Cancer-Free America (CCFA) was launched as an initiative aimed at raising awareness, increasing screenings for cervical cancer and dramatically increasing the number of HPV vaccinations given -- all in an effort to halt cervical cancer. GlaxoSmithKline gave $1 million in unrestricted funding to the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health to kickstart the initiative.
For Cervical Cancer-Free Indiana, the organization has awarded Gregory Zimet, Ph.D., $150,000 in funding. Zimet has teamed with Kirk Forbes (whose 23-year-old daughter died of cervical cancer), who serves as director of the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation.
Forbes said the team's mission is to "educate, screen and prevent HPV and cervical cancer" with the hope of reducing the number of lives lost to the disease as well as the number of hysterectomies and other surgeries performed as a result of diagnosis.
African-Americans and Hispanics are at an increased risk of cervical cancer, most likely because of health-insurance disparities that result in fewer screenings and Pap tests.