Cancer medicine 2018 02 14() doi 10.1002/cam4.1334
Screening rate for cervical cancer among HIV-infected women and among women overall is low in Ethiopia despite the high burden of the disease and HIV infection, which increases cervical cancer risk. In this paper, we assessed knowledge about cervical cancer symptoms, prevention, early detection, and treatment and barriers to screening among HIV-positive women attending community health centers for HIV-infection management in Addis Ababa. A cross-sectional survey of 581 HIV-positive women aged 21-64 years old attending 14 randomly selected community health centers without cervical cancer screening service in Addis Ababa. We used univariate analysis to calculate summary statistics for each variable considered in the analysis, binary logistic regression analysis to measure the degree of association between dependent and independent variables, and multiple regressions for covariate adjusted associations. Statistical significance for all tests was set at P < 0.05. We used thematic analysis to describe the qualitative data. Of the 581 women enrolled in the study with mean age 34.9 ± 7.7 years, 57.8% of participants had heard of cervical cancer and 23.4% were knowledgeable about the symptoms, prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disease. In multivariate analysis, higher educational attainment and employment were significantly associated with good knowledge about cervical cancer. In addition, only 10.8% of the participants ever had screening and 17% ever received recommendation for it. However, 86.2% of them were willing to be screened if free of cost. Knowledge about cervical cancer is poor and cervical cancer screening rate and provider recommendation are low among HIV-positive women attending community health centers for management and follow-up of their disease in Addis Ababa. These findings underscore the need to scale up health education about cervical cancer prevention and early detection among HIV-positive women as well as among primary healthcare providers in the city.