Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
In Swaziland, cases of cervical cancer among Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-positive adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are increasing, but there is low uptake of cervical cancer screening. This study was conducted using the systems thinking theory to explore the relationships between the uptake of cervical cancer screening among HIV-positive AGYW in Swaziland and the availability of trained health providers, cervical screening services, and the provision of referrals for cervical screening. The study also investigated any differences in uptake of cervical screening based on age group. For this quantitative cross-sectional study, secondary HIV program data that were collected routinely between January 2016 and March 2018 were accessed. Data were described with univariate analysis while relationships were tested using bivariate analysis and logistic regression. Most facilities (97%) had staff who had been trained; facilities with greater numbers of trained staff were more likely to have a higher uptake (OR: 30.3, p = 0.000). Facilities with cervical screening services were also more likely to have a higher uptake (x2 = 16.94, p = 0.000), and facilities with all the core components for screening had the highest uptake (p = 0.002). AGYW who had a positive screen were referred equally but the referral rate was low (20.45%). There was no difference in uptake by age group. The results of the study can increase knowledge of the institutional factors that contribute to the low uptake of cervical cancer screening among HIV-positive AGYW and has implications for social change by informing interventions for improving cervical cancer screening uptake in HIV-positive AGYW in similar settings, ultimately reducing the high costs, morbidity, and mortality related to cervical cancer in this population.
Available for download on Thursday, February 20, 2020