Improved Rates of Cervical Cancer Screening among Transmasculine Patients through Self-Collected Swabs for High-Risk Human Papillomavirus DNA Testing

Zil Goldstein, Tyler Martinson, Shruti Ramachandran, Rebecca Lindner, Joshua D. Safer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Nearly all cervical cancer cases are caused by one of several high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (hr-HPV). Transmasculine (TM) individuals (persons who have a masculine spectrum gender identity, but were recorded female at birth) have low adherence to standard cervical cancer screening modalities. Introduction of self-collected vaginal swabs for hr-HPV DNA testing may promote initiation and adherence to cervical cancer screening among TM individuals to narrow screening disparities. The purpose of this study was to assess the rate of cervical cancer screening among TM individuals following the introduction of self-collected swabbing for hr-HPV DNA testing in comparison to clinician-administered cervical specimen collection. Methods: Rates of uptake and adherence to cervical cancer screening among TM individuals were assessed before and after the clinical introduction of self-collected swab testing in October 2017. Rates were compared with the rates of cervical cancer screening among cisgender women at a colocated Comprehensive Health Program during the time period of review. Results: Of the 121 TM patients seen for primary care in the 6-month baseline period before the October 2017 introduction of self-collected swabbing for hr-HPV DNA testing, 30 (25%) had cervical cancer screening documented in the electronic medical record. Following the implementation of self-swabbing, of 193 patients, 98 (51%) had a documented cervical cancer screening, a two-fold increase in the rates of adherence to cervical cancer screening (p<0.001). Conclusion: Self-collected swab testing for hr-HPV can increase rates of adherence to screening recommendations among an otherwise under-screened population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalTransgender Health
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • HPV
  • cervical cancer
  • female-to-male
  • screening
  • transgender health care
  • transmasculine

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