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Gay and Bisexual Men’s Willingness to Use a Self-Collected Anal Cancer Screening Test

Thompson, Joshua A. MPH1; Reiter, Paul L. PhD2,3; McRee, Annie-Laurie DrPH4; Moss, Jennifer L. MSPH1; Brewer, Noel T. PhD1,5

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2015 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 354–361
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000118
Original Article: Anal and Perianal
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Objective We investigated gay and bisexual men’s willingness to self-administer an anal cancer screening test at home.

Methods We conducted 2 national, online cross-sectional surveys of self-identified gay and bisexual men: Study I in 2009 with men ages 20 to 59 (n = 306) and Study II in 2013 with men ages 18 to 26 (n = 428). We used multivariate logistic regression analyses to determine variables associated with willingness to self-administer the screening test.

Results Most men were willing to self-administer an anal cancer screening test (78% Study I; 67% Study II). In Study I, willingness was higher among men who trusted anal Paps to find treatable cancer (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.47; 95% CI, 1.04–2.09) and who believed that men who have sex with men should be screened for anal cancer between 1 and 3 years vs. other intervals (aOR = 2.19; 95% CI, 1.17–4.10). In Study II, willingness was higher among men who perceived greater likelihood of anal cancer (aOR = 1.57; 95% CI, 1.12–2.20). Their most common concerns were not performing the test correctly and inaccuracy of results.

Conclusions Many gay and bisexual men were willing to self-administer anal cancer screening tests at home. If routine screening is warranted, self-collected home testing could improve participation.

Two national studies of gay and bisexual men found that most were willing to use a self-collected test for anal cancer.

1UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC; 2Divison of Cancer Prevention and Control, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 3Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 4Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; and 5Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC

Correspondence to: Noel T. Brewer, PhD, Department of Health Behavior Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina 325 Rosenau Hall, CB 7440 Chapel Hill, NC 27599. E-mail: ntb@unc.edu

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding:

Source of Funding: Supported in part by a research grant from the Investigator-Initiated Studies Program of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Additional support provided by the American Cancer Society (MSRG-06-259-01-CPPB) and the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (R25 CA57726 and P30CA016058).

Conflict of Interest: A research grant to NTB from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. funded Study I. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. played no role in the study design, planning, implementation, analysis, or reporting of the findings. NTB has received other grants from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and served on paid advisory boards for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. PLR has also received additional grants from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and a research grant from Cervical Cancer-Free America, via an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline.

Declaration of Interests

NTB has received other grants from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and served on paid advisory boards for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. PLR has also received additional grants from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

IRB Status: This study was approved by the institutional review board of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

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Copyright © 2015 by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology