Masvingo (New Ziana) – Multiple sexual partnerships has become one of the main causes of cervical cancer, a medical official said on Wednesday.
Most cervical cancer cases linked to multiple sexual partnerships are transmitted via the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and the origins of the illness among the majority of sufferers between the ages of 25 and 45 is from this.
In an interview, government medical officer, Dr Catherine Muchineripi said rising cases of fatal cervical cancer were due to late presentation for treatment.
Cancer, including that of the breast, has become one of the main medical conditions claiming the lives of women in the country, and around the world.
“Most women with cervical cancer have the HPV virus, that is, 99 out of 100 women. The strains of HPV associated with cervical cancer are nearly always passed on by having sexual intercourse with multiple partners of which one or two of them might be infected,” Muchineripi said.
“An infection with one of these strains of HPV does not usually cause symptoms, so you cannot tell if you or the person you sleep with are infected with one of these strains of HPV. The more sexual partners you have, the higher your chances of becoming infected with HPV and therefore the higher the risk of cervical cancer,” she added.
She discouraged multiple sexual partnerships among women, warning that HPV had no symptoms, and therefore difficult to detect early for effective treatment.
The Cancer Association of Zimbabwe, an advocacy group for people suffering from the condition, said the outbreak of Covid-19 had taken national focus off cancer a bit, and intended to step up awareness campaigns, including in rural areas.
Association monitoring and evaluation officer, Lovemore Makarirofa said the focal point of the campaign will be screening to ensure early detection and treatment of various cancers.
“Since it is a month of cervical cancer awareness, we will be doing screening and cervical cancer awareness campaigns especially in the rural areas where most women live and are ignorant to the disease,” he said.