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Health Promot Pract. 2016 Jan;17(1):21-30. doi: 10.1177/1524839915615611. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

Addressing Risk and Reluctance at the Nexus of HIV and Anal Cancer Screening.

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University of Hawai'i-Ma-noa, Honolulu, HI, USA University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI, USA
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI, USA.
University of Hawai'i-Ma-noa, Honolulu, HI, USA University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI, USA.
University of Hawai'i-Ma-noa, Honolulu, HI, USA.
Life Foundation of O'ahu, Honolulu, HI, USA.


Anal cancer disproportionately burdens persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) regardless of natal sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, and ethnic identity. Culturally competent communications are recommended to address health disparities, with sociocultural relevance ensured through constituent dialogic processes. Results are presented from six provider focus groups conducted to inform the promotion/education component of a Hawai'i-based project on anal cancer screening tools. Krueger's focus group methodology guided discussion queries. Verbatim transcripts of digitally recorded discussions were analyzed using grounded theory and PEN-3 procedures. Adherence to an audit trail ensured analytic rigor. Grounded theory analysis detected the overall theme of risk and reluctance to anal cancer screening, characterized by anal cancer not being "on the radar" of PLHIV, conflicting attributions of the anus and anal sex, fear of sex-shaming/-blaming, and other interrelated conceptual categories. PEN-3 analysis revealed strategies for destigmatizing anal cancer, through "real talk" (proactive, candid, nonjudgmental discussion) nested in a framework of sexual health and overall well-being, with additional tailoring for relevance to Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, transgender persons, and other marginalized groups. Application of strategies for health practice are specific to the Hawai'i context, yet may offer considerations for developing strengths-based, culturally relevant screening promotion/education with diverse PLHIV in other locales.


HIV; Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders; anal cancer screening; cancer disparities; cultural competence; sexual minorities

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