Saudi Arabia

HPV Country Profile

Statistics and Data Analytics


cases in 2018



deaths in 2018

Status of National HPV Vaccination Programme

The HPV vaccine is currently not included in Saudi Arabia's national immunization program.


General Information

Human Papillomavirus

Burden of HPV infection

In Saudi Arabia, about 2.3% of women in the general population are estimated to have HPV type 16 or 18 at a given time, which causes approximately 76.0% of invasive cervical cancers in the country. A 2014 study showed 31.6% of women have any type of HPV.1,4

Burden of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer, caused by HPV, is the sixteenth leading cause of cancer deaths in women in Saudi Arabia, causing at least 158 deaths annually among the population of 9.8 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk for the disease.1,2 Between 2012 and 2018, the number of deaths every year due to cervical cancer nearly doubled (84 in 2012 to 158 in 2018), and if decisive action is not taken at the national level, annual deaths due to the disease will increase by 147% by 2040, reaching 391 deaths per year.3 In Saudi Arabia, at least 316 women are newly diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

2.5 per 100,000 women in Saudi Arabia contract cervical cancer annually and 1.5 per 100,000 women die due to the disease each year in Saudi Arabia. Among countries in the MENA region (as defined by UNAIDS), Saudi Arabia’s death and incidence rates due to cervical cancer are relatively low. For example, Somalia and Morocco have the highest incidence and mortality rates, with 24.0 and 17.2 women per 100,000 being newly diagnosed with cervical cancer annually and at least 21.9 and 12.6 women per 100,000 dying due to cervical cancer per year, respectively. Whereas Iran, Iraq and Yemen have the lowest (around 2 per 100,000 women are diagnosed per year and about 1 per 100,000 die because of cervical cancer annually).2

Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rate projections
Research and Publications
  1. Anfinan, Nisreen M. “Physician’s Knowledge and Opinions on Human Papillomavirus Vaccination: A Cross-Sectional Study, Saudi Arabia.” BMC Health Services Research, vol. 19, no. 1, Dec. 2019, p. 963, doi:10.1186/s12913-019-4756-z.
  2. Mousa Manar, et al. “Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.” Annals of Saudi Medicine, vol. 39, no. 6, Dec. 2019, pp. 403–09, doi:10.5144/0256-4947.2019.403.
  3. Heena, Humariya, et al. “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices towards Cervical Cancer and Screening amongst Female Healthcare Professionals: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Journal of Oncology, vol. 2019, Oct. 2019, pp. 1–9, doi:10.1155/2019/5423130.
  4. Almazrou, Sarah, et al. “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Saudi Physicians Regarding Cervical Cancer and the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine.” Journal of Infection and Public Health, Sept. 2019, doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2019.09.002.
  5. Alyafeai, Zaid, and Lahouari Ghouti. “A Fully-Automated Deep Learning Pipeline for Cervical Cancer Classification.” Expert Systems with Applications, Sept. 2019, p. 112951, doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2019.112951.
  6. Almehmadi, Mazen, et al. “Awareness of Human Papillomavirus Infection Complications, Cervical Cancer, and Vaccine among the Saudi Population. A Cross-Sectional Survey.” Saudi Medical Journal, vol. 40, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 555–59, doi:10.15537/smj.2019.6.24208.
  7. Alsbeih, Ghazi, et al. “Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection and the Association with Survival in Saudi Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” Cancers, vol. 11, no. 6, June 2019, p. 820, doi:10.3390/cancers11060820.
  8. Al-Madani, Wedad, et al. “Modelling Risk Assessment for Cervical Cancer in Symptomatic Saudi Women.” Saudi Medical Journal, vol. 40, no. 5, May 2019, pp. 447–51, https://www.smj.org.sa/index.php/smj/article/view/smj.2019.5.24085.
  9. Sait, Khalid, et al. “Genetic Diversity and Phylogenetic Analysis of HPV 16 & 18 Variants Isolated from Cervical Specimens of Women in Saudi Arabia.” Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, vol. 26, no. 2, Feb. 2019, pp. 317–24, doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2018.05.005.
  10. Jradi, Hoda, and Amen Bawazir. “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices among Saudi Women Regarding Cervical Cancer, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Corresponding Vaccine.” Vaccine, vol. 37, no. 3, Jan. 2019, pp. 530–37, doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.11.065.
  11. Aldohaian, Arwa I., et al. “Using the Health Belief Model to Assess Beliefs and Behaviors Regarding Cervical Cancer Screening among Saudi Women: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study.” BMC Women’s Health, vol. 19, no. 1, Jan. 2019, p. 6, doi:10.1186/s12905-018-0701-2.
  12. Afari, Basmah, et al. “Knowledge and Awareness about Cervical Carcinoma among Women in Saudi Arabia.” International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries, 2019, pp. 40–44, doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1561646708.
  13. AlHarfi, Maithaa, et al. “Awareness Level of Women Living in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia about the Relationship between Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer.” International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries, 2019, pp. 592–96, doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1548091380.
  14. Al-Muhanna, Mahdi Mousa, et al. “Public Awareness toward Cervical Cancer among Saudi Females in AL-Ahsa City, Saudi Arabia.” The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, vol. 73, no. 6, Oct. 2018, pp. 6844–46, doi:10.12816/ejhm.2018.16739.
  15. Alzahrani, Hamamah Hassan, et al. “Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Relation to Cervical Cancer Screening among Female Employees at King Abdulaziz University.” International Journal of Nursing Didactics, vol. 8, no. 03, Mar. 2018, pp. 01–10, doi:10.15520/ijnd.2018.vol8.iss03.2050.01-10.
View all publications
  1. Bruni L, Barrionuevo-Rosas L, Albero G, Serrano B, Mena M, Gómez D, Muñoz J, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S. ICO/IARC Information Centre on HPV and Cancer (HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases in Saudi Arabia. Summary Report 27 July 2017. [19 October, 2018]

  2. Cancer Today. (2018, September). Retrieved October 19, 2018, from https://gco.iarc.fr/.

  3. Cancer Tomorrow. (2018, September). Retrieved October 19, 2018, from https://gco.iarc.fr/.

  4. Al-Ahdal, M., Al-Arnous, W., Bohol, M., Abuzaid, S., Shoukri, M., Elrady, K., Firdous, N., Aliyan, R., Taseer, R., Al-Hazzani, A., & Al-Qahtani, A. (2014). Human papillomaviruses in cervical specimens of women residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a hospital-based study. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 8(03), 320-325. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.3855/jidc.4220

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