The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes cervical cancer as a Human Immunodeficiency Virus [HIV] defining illness. Cervical cancer is preventable and screening enables early detection of cancerous lesions and results into prompt treatment. Women in HIV care centers present an opportunity to screen for cervical cancer. The aim of the study was determine the utilization of cervical cancer screening services among HIV positive women as they receive care.
The study was a cross sectional survey of 520 women receiving care at Mulago ISS clinic who were recruited after written informed consent. Cervical cancer screening was taken as having screened or has evidence of screening within a year. Data on the demographic characteristics, obstetric factors and risk factors for cervical cancer was collected and analyzed in SPSS using logistic regression analysis to determine factors associated with cervical cancer screening in the year prior to the interview.
Results and Conclusion
Nearly half (56%) of the women receiving care at Mulago Iss clinic had been screened for cancer cervix in the last one year. Participants with cervical cancer screening facilities at a health unit near home [AO.R=1.817, 95% C.I=1.223-2.699], being referred by health worker for cervical cancer screening [AO.R=15.143, 95% C.I=5.060-45.315]. Hearing about cervical cancer more than once [AO.R=4.625, 95% C.I=2.273-9.409] were more likely to utilize cervical cancer screening services. There is a missed opportunity to screen patients in HIV care in Mulago ISS clinic for cervical cancer.
There is need to set up screening facilities in HIV care centers. The health workers should be trained through seminars and continuous medical education to ensure that all the women who seek care for HIV care are screened for cancer cervix.