LGBTI community needed for important cervical screening study

Monday 31 August, 2015

Victorian lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people who have a cervix are encouraged to take part in an survey to analyse cervical screening behaviours in this community for the first time in Australia.

The survey will give researchers insights for the first time into how often LGBTI people with a cervix are attending cervical screening and what barriers they face when accessing healthcare.

The research is commissioned by PapScreen Victoria, in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University.

LGBTI people with a cervix have the same risk of cervical cancer as heterosexual women.

Hiranthi Perera, PapScreen Victoria Manager hopes that the survey will be completed by many LGBTI Victorians to inform new strategies to reach this group and increase their cervical screening rates.

“PapScreen Victoria wants a better understanding of what LGBTI people face when screening for cervical cancer and accessing healthcare services in Victoria, so we can improve services in these communities.

“A common misconception is that this group don’t need cervical screening. This isn’t the case, as any person with a cervix who participates in any genital-skin to genital-skin contact, needs to have a Pap test every two years,” Ms Perera said.

Ro Allen, Victoria’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner said this research was an important step for reducing healthcare inequities in LGBTI people.

“Cervical screening is an important public health measure and we need to ensure that all people who require it have inclusive pathways to appropriate care.

“This Australian-first survey will help to pave the way by highlighting how people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex or transgender men understand and access cervical health care.”

Visit www.papscreen.org.au to complete the online survey.

ENDS

Please note interviews are available with Hiranthi Perera, Manager of PapScreen Victoria and researcher Dr Elizabeth Smith from La Trobe University.

About PapScreen Victoria
PapScreen Victoria is a communications and recruitment program funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services as part of the National Cervical Screening Program and is coordinated by Cancer Council Victoria.

For further information or interview opportunities please contact Ali Hickerson on 0455 043 324.

Updated: 31 Aug, 2015