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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Almajnuni, Abdulrahman S., et al. “Assessment of the Awareness toward Cancer Cervix, Early Detection and Prevention of Risk Factors among Saudi Males and Females.” The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, vol. 70, no. 4, 2018, pp. 699–702, doi:10.12816/0043827.
  7. Malibari, Samaher Sahal. “Knowledge about Cervical Cancer among Women in Saudi Arabia.” The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, vol. 70, no. 10, 2018, pp. 1823–25, doi:10.12816/0044760.
  8. Alammar, Shatha, et al. “Awareness of Cervical Cancer and Its Prevention among High School Female Teachers in Riyadh.” International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries, 2018, pp. 97–102, doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1526304931.
  9. Rabaan, Ali A., et al. “Comparison of the Cepheid Xpert HPV Test and the HC2 High-Risk HPV DNA Test for Detection of High-Risk HPV Infection in Cervical Smear Samples in SurePath Preservative Fluid.” Journal of Medical Microbiology, vol. 67, no. 5, 2018, pp. 676–80, doi:10.1099/jmm.0.000723.
  10. Al-Shaikh, Ghadeer Khaled, et al. “Effectiveness of Health Education Programme: Level of Knowledge about Prevention of Cervical Cancer among Saudi Female Healthcare Students.” JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, vol. 67, no. 4, Apr. 2017, pp. 513–20.
  11. Alharazi, Dr Ranya. Prevalence of Abnormal Cervical Smears in Outpatient Gynecology Clinic at National Guard Hospital Al-Hasa. Vol. 8, no. 12, 2017, p. 5.
  12. Hussain, Aneela N., et al. “Attitudes and Perceptions towards HPV Vaccination among Young Women in Saudi Arabia.” Journal of Family & Community Medicine, vol. 23, no. 3, Dec. 2016, pp. 145–50, doi:10.4103/2230-8229.189107.
  13. Aziza, Soliman, et al. “Efficacy of Counseling for Cervical Cancer Screening and Protective Procedures on Saudi Women’s Health Beliefs and Practice.” Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, vol. 7, no. 2, Oct. 2016, p. 117, doi:10.5430/jnep.v7n2p117.
  14. Alhamlan, Fatimah Saeed, et al. “Current Studies on Human Papillomavirus in Saudi Arabia.” The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, vol. 9, no. 06, July 2015, pp. 571–76, doi:10.3855/jidc.6538.
  15. Nabi, Ghulam. “Knowledge of Saudi Female University Students Regarding Cervical Cancer and Acceptance of the Human Papilloma Virus.” Saudi Medical Journal, vol. 36, no. 2, Feb. 2015, pp. 254–55, doi:10.15537/smj.2015.2.11250.
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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