A new health campaign people to get their cervix checked out regardless of gender identity or sexuality
‘The Inner Circle’ will target all LGBTI people with a cervix. The campaign will encourage them to participate in Australia’s recently launched National Cervical Screening Program.
People with a cervix whether they are cis gendered women, non-binary or trans men are at risk of developing cervical cancer.
One of the major causes of cervical cancer is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV is transmitted through genital skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has the virus. That transmission can happen even if they are not having penetrative sex.
Not participating in cervical screening is the biggest risk factor for cervical cancer.
A 2014 survey found that 20% of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Sydney had never had a Pap test.
Trans men are more likely to have inadequate pap testing. Many are afraid to access appropriate health care because of fear of discrimination.
The US National Transgender Discrimination Survey found nearly half (48%) of trans men reported postponing or avoiding preventive care out to fear of discrimination and disrespect.
One of Australia’s leading LGBTI health organizations, ACON, will run The Inner Circle, in conjunction with Family Planning NSW (FPNSW).
‘We know that our communities rarely discuss cervical cancer or cervical screening with their peer networks,’ said ACON acting CEO, Karen Price.
‘We also know that within LGBTIQ communities in NSW, a diverse range of people need to understand how to take care of their cervix – and to feel empowered and comfortable to do so.’
FPNSW will establish a weekly clinic to help encourage LGBTI Australians with a cervix to have a cervical screening.
‘From our new Check OUT Clinic, we will be offering free or low cost, confidential sexual health and cervical screening services for LGBTIQ people,’ said FPNSW CEO Adjunct Professor Ann Brassil.
‘Everybody needs access to appropriate and specialist services to make sure they are getting the best healthcare.’