On December 1, HBO premiered Countdown to Zero, VICE's hour-long special report about the progress of HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. During our investigation, we traveled to Sub-Saharan Africa to see the impact of international relief efforts like those coming from George W. Bush's PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) program.
During those efforts, the medical professionals in Africa who were treating HIV and AIDS in women had made a shocking discovery: There is a connection between HIV and cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer, while common and treatable in countries such as America, has only a 20 percent survival rate in Africa. What this means is that while global relief efforts to battle AIDS and HIV are making good progress, the international community also needs to address this newly-discovered complication to fully curb the number of HIV-related deaths.
In this web-exclusive clip, VICE sits down with an architect of PEPFAR and former president George W. Bush—whose Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon alliance is dedicated to bringing women in Africa cancer treatment and preventative care—to learn more about this new crisis.
"Currently, cervical cancer is killing more women than die of childbirth," said PEPFAR's Mark Dybul, "and a lot of it in Sub-Saharan Africa is related to HIV. Cervical cancer is a complication we didn't think about. The really tragic thing is that cervical cancer is completely preventable."