Assessment of factors impacting cervical cancer screening among low-income women living with HIV-AIDS.
Very little is currently known about factors impacting the prevalence of cervical cancer screening among women living with HIV-AIDS (WLHA). To better understand this issue, we surveyed low-income, medically underserved women receiving subsidized gynecologic care through an integrated HIV clinic. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 209 women who self-identified as HIV positive. A total of 179 subjects (85.7%) reported having had a Pap test in the last three years. The majority of WLHA (95%) knew that the Pap test screens for cervical cancer. However, overall knowledge of cervical cancer risk factors, such as multiple sexual partners or sex with a man with multiple partners, was low (43% and 35%, respectively). Unscreened women were younger and more likely to be single with multiple current sexual partners. In multivariable analyses, the only factors associated with Pap testing were a woman's perception that her partner wants her to receive regular screening (aOR 4.64; 95% CI: 1.15-23.76; p = .04), number of clinic visits during the past year (aOR 1.36, 95% CI: 1.05-1.94; p = .04) and knowledge that the need for a Pap test does not depend on whether or not a woman is experiencing vaginal bleeding (aOR 6.52, 95% CI: 1.04-49.71; p = .05). We conclude that support from male partners in addition to effective contact with the health system and knowledge of cervical cancer risk factors influence Pap utilization among low-income WLHA. Future measures to improve the care for this population should increase knowledge of cervical cancer risk factors and encourage social support for cervical cancer screening among WLHA.
Ogunwale, AN; Coleman, MA; Sangi-Haghpeykar, H; Valverde, I; Montealegre, J; Jibaja-Weiss, M; Anderson, ML
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