Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Addressing Risk and Reluctance at the Nexus of HIV and Anal Cancer Screening

Anal cancer disproportionately burdens persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) regardless of natal sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, and ethnic identity. Culturally competent communications are recommended to address health disparities, with sociocultural relevance ensured through constituent dialogic processes. 

Results are presented from six provider focus groups conducted to inform the promotion/education component of a Hawai'i-based project on anal cancer screening tools. Krueger's focus group methodology guided discussion queries. Verbatim transcripts of digitally recorded discussions were analyzed using grounded theory and PEN-3 procedures. Adherence to an audit trail ensured analytic rigor. 

Grounded theory analysis detected the overall theme of risk and reluctance to anal cancer screening, characterized by anal cancer not being "on the radar" of PLHIV, conflicting attributions of the anus and anal sex, fear of sex-shaming/-blaming, and other interrelated conceptual categories. PEN-3 analysis revealed strategies for destigmatizing anal cancer, through "real talk" (proactive, candid, nonjudgmental discussion) nested in a framework of sexual health and overall well-being, with additional tailoring for relevance to Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, transgender persons, and other marginalized groups. 

Application of strategies for health practice are specific to the Hawai'i context, yet may offer considerations for developing strengths-based, culturally relevant screening promotion/education with diverse PLHIV in other locales.

Purchase full article at:

  • 1University of Hawai'i-Ma-noa, Honolulu, HI, USA University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI, USA
  • 2University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI, USA.
  • 3University of Hawai'i-Ma-noa, Honolulu, HI, USA University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI, USA.
  • 4University of Hawai'i-Ma-noa, Honolulu, HI, USA.
  • 5Life Foundation of O'ahu, Honolulu, HI, USA. 

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