To mark International Women's Day on March 8th, QIAGEN will provide human papillomavirus (HPV) testing products for the testing of underprivileged women at 29 hospitals across China. The free testing program is part of the larger "3.8 Program" - a nationwide prevention campaign organized by the Cancer Foundation of China and partially sponsored by QIAGEN. HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer. "QIAGEN is proud to continue its partnership with the Cancer Foundation of China after the success of last year's event," said Dr. Victor Shi, Asia Area President of QIAGEN. "We must continue to increase awareness and work to make testing more widespread. If we are successful at this, cervical cancer can and will become a disease of the past." For the second year in a row, QIAGEN will provide HPV testing kits to the 29 hospitals taking part in the cervical cancer screening aspect of the event. These kits will be used in the screening of several thousand underprivileged women throughout China. According to the Cancer Foundation of China, 17 of the hospitals involved in the 2008 cervical cancer screening activity reported their result, providing statistics for the testing of 1,617 women. Of those screened, 30 were found to have mild dysplasia (abnormal cell growth) due to HPV infection (CIN1), 5 had moderate dysplasia (CIN2), 4 had severe dysplasia (CIN3), and 5 were found to have invasive cervical cancer. All women found to have CIN2/3 and cancer were referred to local medical centers for further diagnosis and surgery if appropriate. "Our goal at the Cancer Foundation of China is to improve awareness of cervical cancer and HPV screening in China to save lives," said Prof. Qiao Youlin, General Director of the event and Chief of the Department of Cancer Epidemiology at the Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. "Like QIAGEN, we believe that the best in preventative care, including HPV testing, should be available to all women. Last year we were able to help hundreds of women reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer." Testing women over the age of 30 for the virus that causes the cervical cancer significantly improves healthcare professionals' ability to identify women at risk. When used along with the Pap, QIAGEN's digene HPV Test can help drastically reduce the annual number of cervical cancer deaths in China and around the world.