Analysis of cervical cancer and abnormality outcomes in an era of cervical screening and HPV vaccination in Australia

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Release Date: 

This is the third report from an Australian-first project, combining screening, cancer, death, and HPV vaccination data to demonstrate the effects of screening and HPV vaccination on cervical cancer, precancerous abnormalities and cervical screening behaviour.

Screen-detected cervical cancers were less likely to cause death than those diagnosed in never-screened women, and HPV-vaccinated women were more likely to participate in cervical screening, and less likely to have a high-grade abnormality.

 

A community perspective: On Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer among women and, trans and gender diverse people

Positive Life NSW & Femfatales, April 2019

Authors: Liz Sutherland, Lance Feeney, Katya Samodurov

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus which can be passed through skin to skin contact during sexual activity. Evidence to date shows that women living with HIV are 3 to 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than the general female population. They are also at greater risk of developing anal, vaginal, oropharyngeal and vulvar cancers.

There are other groups who may have a higher but preventable risk because they are often left out of the conversation about HPV and related cancers. Trans men are less likely to be up-todate with Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. Furthermore, several studies have highlighted that trans and gender diverse people, and lesbian and bisexual cis-gendered women are often disregarded as not being at risk.

Positive Life and Femfatales developed a cross-sectional study to:

• Assess awareness and knowledge of HPV infection and risk for 4 HPV-related cancers (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal) among women and, trans and gender diverse people in Australia;

• Assess the knowledge gaps to inform the development and implementation of population-specific educational resources to increase community and healthcare professional awareness of HPV and related cancers;

• Assist with the prevention of morbidity and mortality by increasing screening, early detection and treatment of HPV-related cancers, and;

• Assess rates of HPV vaccination in women and, trans and gender diverse people

KEY FINDINGS:

1. The results from this survey highlighted a lack of awareness of risk, prevention,
symptoms, and early detection of HPV-related vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers.

2. Approximately 28% of HIV-positive respondents were unaware that a vaccination
against HPV exists and 71% of HIV-positive respondents had not been vaccinated
against HPV.

3. Over half (60%) of HIV-positive respondents believe their risk of anal cancer was either‘about the same’, ‘lower’, or ‘much lower’ than the general female population’s risk.

4. While all HIV-positive respondents had screened for cervical cancer at some point in
their lives, 91.7% had never had an anal examination for anal cancer.

5. Among HIV-positive and HIV-negative but immunocompromised respondents who had undergone staging or treatment for either cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer, none had ever screened for anal cancer.

6. Of the HIV-positive respondents who do not receive screening reminder notifications, none were aware of the new 3 yearly National Cervical Screening Guidelines and changes.

7. Qualitative responses indicated that respondents generally preferred having clinician-initiated conversations with female doctors or nurses who were non-judgemental, non-dismissive, clear, and made them feel comfortable.

8. In an open-ended short-answer question, more than 25% of qualitative respondents felt that more awareness and normalising talking about HPV in the public realm would help increase their chance of detecting HPV-related cancer early.

Australia’s health 2018 (Report)

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,  Release Date: 

 

Australia’s Health 2018 is the AIHW’s 16th biennial report on the health of Australians. It examines a wide range of contemporary topics in a series of analytical feature articles and short statistical snapshots.

The report also summarises the performance of the health system against an agreed set of indicators.

Australia’s health 2018: in brief is a companion report to Australia’s health 2018.

Table of contents:

Whole report:

PDF Report (17.3Mb)

Australia’s health 2018 in brief:

Companion ‘in brief’ booklet presents highlights in a compact easy-to-use format.

 

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.

Hepatitis B testing infographic now available

Hepatitis NSW, October 2017

With the increasing visibility of hep B, Hepatitis NSW felt there was a need to make information about hep B testing clearer. It can be a complex subject to grapple with and there’s lots of misinformation and confusion out there.

This hep B testing infographic aims to give both doctors and patients a clearer understanding of what tests to do as well as what the test results mean. On one side, we have an explanation of what the tests results mean which a doctor can use to explain a person’s results. On the other side, we have the reminder for the doctor to test the 3 key hep B tests. It’s really important to get all three done at once.

The aim is for people to take this infographic with them when they go and see their doctor about hep B testing – whether that’s checking their immunity, seeing if they’ve ever been exposed, or seeing if they have a hep B infection.

People can also call the Hepatitis SA Infoline on 1800 437 222 for further information.

  • Download infographic in English, Korean or Mandarin here 

Hepatitis A in MSM

SA Health / SHINE SA, October 2017

An increase in the number of notifications of hepatitis A has been reported in New South Wales amongst men who have sex with men (MSM). It is suspected that these infections are associated with a recent outbreak overseas amongst MSM in Europe and the Americas.

Key prevention messages:

  • Vaccination is the most effective form of prevention against hepatitis A infection. To receive the vaccine, contact your health care provider to arrange an appointment.
  • Follow good personal hygiene practices, especially thorough hand washing and safe sexual practices.
  • People with hepatitis A are excluded from work for 7 days after the onset of jaundice (if present) or 2 weeks from the onset of illness.

A factsheet and 2 videos of different lengths have been developed.

Dr Alison Ward, Senior Consultant Sexual Health Physician, Head of Unit, STD Services, Clinic 275 (RAH), discusses the importance of vaccination against Hepatitis A for men who have sex with men (MSM) (3:08 Minutes)

Dr Alison Ward, Senior Consultant Sexual Health Physician, Head of Unit, STD Services, Clinic 275 (RAH), discusses the importance of vaccination against Hepatitis A for men who have sex with men (MSM) (47 seconds)