Exploring the perceptions of anal cancer screening and behaviors among gay and bisexual men infected with HIV

Alexis Koskan, Natalie Leblanc, Isabella Rosa-Cunha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of anal cancer is on the rise among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM). Given the increasing availability of screening, this study explored anal cancer screening awareness and behaviors among MSM infected with HIV. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 58 MSM infected with HIV. Results: Other than 2 participants treated for anal cancer and 3 treated for precancerous anal lesions, the majority of participants had never heard of anal cancer. Men reported lack of awareness and recommendations from their health care professionals as the greatest barriers to screening. Upon learning about their risk for anal cancer and the availability of screening, the men were eager to discuss screening with their physicians. Participants provided numerous recommendations for future interventions, including training health care professionals to promote screening, disseminating information pertaining to anal cancer through social networks, and creating media campaigns to raise awareness about the need to screen for this type of cancer. Conclusions: Future intervention work should focus on ensuring that health care professionals, particularly among HIV/primary care specialists, promote screening for anal dysplasia. It is critical that intervention methods use a community-based approach to raise awareness about the need to screen for anal cancer, especially among MSM infected with HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology

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