The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has started discussions with the manufacturers of the human papillomavirus vaccines to reduce prices for the South African public sector.

Cervical cancer is the leading cancer faced by South African women, with more than 3400 dying of it annually. HIV positive women are more than 10 times more likely to contract a strain of HPV that causes cervical cancer.

The TAC advocates a mass vaccination drive be launched as soon as possible. The poor account for the greatest rates of deaths from cervical cancer. At the current price, the government would need more than R3.6 billion to provide the initial vaccination to girls and women in South Africa.