New campaign busts myths around cervical screening in LGBTIQ community

Monday 13 February, 2017

Melbourne ‘Driving You Homo' JOY FM radio presenters, Dee Mason and Lisa Daniel, have proven to have faces for radio and the screen in a new campaign to empower LGBTIQ people with a cervix to have regular cervical screening.

If you're a human with a cervix – and your bits have touched anybody else's bits, ever (absolutely ever) then you might have been exposed to HPV and that nasty little virus can cause cervical cancer," says Dee in the light-hearted campaign video that she wrote.

The campaign was informed by a survey of 303 Victorians with a cervix who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, same sex attracted, transgender, or who have an intersex variation. The study was commissioned by PapScreen Victoria and delivered by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University.

The research showed that people who had never had a Pap test thought they didn't need one because of their sexual or gender identity, worried about being misgendered or receiving homophobic or transphobic comments by their health care provider.

The community also felt that they received poorer health care than women whose assigned gender at birth matched their bodies and their gender identity.

PapScreen Victoria Spokesperson Hiranthi Perera said the campaign would offer useful information for the community, such as links to health providers across Australia who have been recommended by the community as being sensitive to LGBTIQ people.

"Our awareness campaign will draw attention to the fact that all people with a cervix are equally at risk of cervical cancer, while empowering them to participate in cervical screening and know what to do in case they feel judged, discriminated or uncomfortable with their service provider," said Ms Perera.

The campaign will also be complemented with a new fact sheet for health professionals to make their clinics and health care more sensitive to the needs of the LGBTIQ community.