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Reasons for not adhering to cervical cancer screening guidelines and HPV knowledge among HIV indeterminate midlife women (50-64 years old) whose last Pap test was >6 years ago
© Wigfall et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 11 October 2010
Oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a main cause of cervical cancer. Annual Pap tests are recommended for HIV-positive women because their risk of developing cervical cancer, an AIDS defining illness, is increased . Poor uptake of routine HIV testing combined with poor adherence to recommended Pap test screening guidelines among midlife women (50-64 years old) with late-diagnosed HIV infection increases their risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer . Women who miss opportunities for early initiation of effective antiretroviral therapy and early detection of precancerous cells face a double jeopardy of being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer in late disease stages, when treatment is less successful.
Materials and methods
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2008 data were analyzed to describe reasons for not adhering to recommended cervical cancer screening guidelines and HPV knowledge of midlife women who had never been tested for HIV and whose last Pap test was more than 6 years ago. Frequencies and weighted percents are reported.
Reasons for not having a Pap test in the last 6 years, NHIS 2008 (n=115)a.
No Abn Pap
No reason/didn’t think about it/put it off/didn’t get to it/don’t know
Cost was too expensive/no insurance/didn’t have a doctor
Didn’t need/doctor didn’t order it/not having any problems
Too painful, unpleasant, or embarrassing
Despite increased prevalence of HIV/AIDS, routine HIV testing is underutilized. Older adults are disproportionately burdened with late-diagnosed HIV infection. Early diagnosis of HIV and precancerous cervical cells due to HPV infection improves health outcomes for women. Dual HIV and cervical cancer prevention messages that target midlife women are needed.
This article has been published as part of Infectious Agents and Cancer Volume 5 Supplement 1, 2010: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Malignancies in AIDS and Other Acquired Immunodeficiencies (ICMAOI).The full contents of the supplement are available online at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1750-9378/5?issue=S1.