Uptake and barriers to cervical cancer screening among human immunodeficiency virus-positive women in Sub Saharan Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Background: Cervical cancer is the leading cause of disability and mortality among women in Africa. Despite a significant correlation between HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer, there is unacceptably low coverage of the uptake of cervical cancer screening among human immunodeficiency virus-positive women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Individual primary studies are limited in explaining the patterns of uptake of cervical cancer screening. This review therefore considers the uptake of cervical cancer screening and its barriers among human immunodeficiency virus-positive women in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Methods: We systematically searched articles published until December 31, 2019, from the PubMed, Cochrane Library, POP LINE, Google Scholar, African Journals Online and JURN databases. The quality of the included articles was assessed by using the Newcastle‒Ottawa Scale, and the coverage of uptake of cervical cancer screening was pooled after checking for heterogeneity and publication bias. The random effect model was used, and subgroup analysis estimates were performed by country.
Results: Twenty-one studies comprising 20,672 human immunodeficiency virus-positive women were included. Applying a random effect model, the overall cervical cancer screening uptake among this group of women in Sub-Saharan Africa was estimated to be 30% (95% CI: 19, 41, I2 = 100%). The main barriers to uptake of cervical screening include poor knowledge about cervical cancer and screening, low risk perception of cervical cancer, fear of test result and fear of screening as painful, lack of access to screening services, high cost of screening service, and poor partner attitude and acceptance of the service. The perception of an additional burden of having a cervical cancer diagnosis was found to be a unique barrier among this population of women.
Conclusion: The unacceptably low coverage of uptake of cervical cancer screening would indicate that the need to scale up the opportunities to these groups of women as well. This review revealed that in addition to structural and health care system barriers, sociocultural and personal barriers are powerful barriers in HIV-positive women. For these cohorts of population, a particular obstacle was discovered to be perception of an additional burden of having cervical cancer.
Mengesha MB, Chekole TT, Hidru HD
- Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
- General HIV+ population