Response to article: Women urged not to tighten vag!nas with herbs

I am responding to the article “Masvingo women urged not to tighten their vag1inas with herbs”. Some of the information in the article is not correct.

Years of research around the world has now proven what causes cervical cancer. The herbs do not cause cervical cancer. We now know that the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes cervical cancer in women, as well as cancer of the penis and anus in men, and throat cancer in men and women.

HPV infection is very common with sexually active men and women. In most cases our immune system clears the infection. In some people the HPV infection stays in our body, and if women do not get checked through cervical screening the HPV infection can lead to cancer after about 10 to 15 years.

There is a HPV vaccine which is given to teenage girls and boys to protect against getting the cancers caused by HPV infection. Women can protect themselves by having cervical screening or the HPV test.

Men can protect themselves by getting circumsised, wearing a condom, and not smoking.

If you want more information please contact me : Dr. Margaret Heffernan, PhD, RMIT University, Australia or margaret.heffernan@rmit.edu.au