Knowledge of HPV/cervical cancer and acceptability of HPV self-sampling among women living with HIV: A scoping review


Cervical cancer rates are disproportionately high among women living with the human immunodeficiency virus (wlhiv). Cervical cancer is preventable through hpv screening, regular Pap tests, and early cancer detection. Evidence indicates that hpv and cervical cancer screening are suboptimal among wlhiv, who face a myriad of access barriers. Considering that screening is an effective first-line defense to cervical cancer, we conducted a scoping review with the aim of gaining a better understanding about: (1) the knowledge and perceptions of hpv and cervical cancer screening among wlhiv; and (2) the acceptability of self-sampling for hpv among wlhiv. We searched five electronic databases for peer-reviewed articles that were published in English within the last ten years, reported on studies with hiv-positive women who were aged 16 or older, and satisfied the topics of the review. A total of 621 articles were found. After accounting for duplicates and unmet criteria, 17 articles and 1 abstract, reporting on studies in the United States and Africa, were included in this review. The review highlighted that most wlhiv had inadequate knowledge of hpv transmission and cervical cancer prevention, which influenced their perceptions of risk and susceptibility. Screening barriers included misconceptions about Pap tests, fear of diagnosis of serious illness, perceived pain, embarrassment, bodily modesty, and limited access to female health care providers. This review also affirms that self-sampling is an acceptable and promising screening option for wlhiv. Implications for policy, research, and practice are discussed


Wong JPH, Vahabi M, Miholjcic J, Tan V, Owino M, Li ATW, Poon MKL




  • Determinants of Health
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cancer
    • Other


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