How to redesign the vaginal speculum

Guardian, Tue 24 Apr 2018 

Cervical screening is at its lowest rate in 19 years. The Jade Goody effect, named for the increase in women attending screening after the reality TV star died of the disease in 2009, has disappeared. In 2015 and 2016, only 72.7% of eligible women went to a screening when invited. That doesn’t sound too bad, but it means 1.2 million women didn’t attend.

Survey for all women and anyone with a cervix: HPV-related cancer awareness

Positive Life in partnership with Femfatales, the National Network of Women Living with HIV, 2018

All women and anyone with a cervix in Australia, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative, are invited to take an online, anonymous survey about awareness of HPV and related cancers.

Positive Life NSW in partnership with Femfatales, the National Network of Women Living with HIV, has developed a survey to assess levels of HPV-related cancer awareness among women.

The results of this survey will help them better understand how they can support women to prevent HPV-related cancer and how they can support women in recovery from HPV-related cancer. The responses will also assist in the development of targeted educational resources for immunocompromised women and women living with HIV, who are three times more likely to develop cervical cancer. No identifying information will be collected.

The online survey will take approximately eight minutes to complete. If you require a hard-copy of the survey, they can mail some to you with reply paid envelopes: please feel free to contact Katya on (02) 9206 2178 or at KatyaS@positivelife.org.au

Disclaimer – the responsibility for the ethical aspects of this survey are with the organisation Positive Life NSW. SHINE SA accepts no responsibility or liability for the survey.

Breast cancer screening and cultural barriers: Why some women are missing early detection

ABC, Saturday 3 January, 2018

Some women say it’s fate. Others believe in “God’s will”. Then there are those who simply feel uncomfortable talking about their breasts. When it comes to breast cancer screening in culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), there are varied and complex reasons that can hinder important messages about early detection.

A recent analysis of five studies involving more than 1,700 first-generation Chinese, African, Arabic, Korean and Indian-Australian women found just 19 per cent identified as “breast aware”, and only 27 per cent aged 40 or above had participated in annual clinical breast exams.

Lead researcher Dr Cannas Kwok, who’s been investigating the breast cancer beliefs and attitudes of migrant Australian women since 2005, says the results, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, are concerning.

Smoking causes one in five cancers in people with HIV in North America

aidsmap/nam, 22 January 2018

A fifth of all cancers in people receiving HIV care in North America between 2000 and 2015 was due to smoking, according to US research published this month in advance online by the journal AIDS.

“In the United States, the prevalence of smoking among HIV-infected people is substantially higher than in the general population, and most HIV-infected individuals either currently smoke or have previously smoked,” comment the authors. “Our findings indicated that a substantial fraction of cancer diagnoses among HIV-infected individuals potentially would not have occurred if they had never smoked.”

Thanks to improvements in HIV treatment and care, most people with HIV now have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. As these people age, non-AIDS-related cancers are an important cause of death.

Gardasil 9 now on the National Immunisation Program

AJP, 9th Oct 2017

The Government has announced free access for young people to the improved HPV vaccine.

From 2018, Gardasil 9, which protects against nine HPV strains (up from four) will be offered through school-based immunisation programs to all 12 to 13-year-old boys, and girls in years seven or eight.

Serving up inequality: How sex and gender impact women’s relationship with food

Women’s Health Victoria, September 2017

This issues paper explores various aspects of women’s health relating to food. These include the impacts of nutritional deficiency, the links between nutrition and chronic disease and women’s food-related behaviours.

Gender itself is a key structural determinant of women’s health and inequality, playing out in women’s roles in relation to food, in psychosocial health and the socio-economic factors that impact on access to nutritious food.

Controversy exists in public health and health promotion about the approach and key messages that should be adopted in relation to food-related behaviours and body size to promote ‘health’ and prevent illness for women. This paper outlines various perspectives in this discourse and highlights principles and recommendations for designing health promotion programs and managing the risks of public health messages.