Anal Cancer Screening: Barriers and Facilitators Among Ethnically Diverse Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men

J Gay Lesbian Soc Serv. 2008 Oct 1;20(4):328-353. doi: 10.1080/10538720802310733.


Knowledge and beliefs about anal cancer screening among gay and other men who have sex with men remains unclear, despite data that suggests significant risk for intra-anal HPV-related cancers. Nevertheless, community-based screening activities may be most effective when stake-holder perspectives are addressed. We conducted four focus groups among 16 male and 3 female health care advocates experienced in working with diverse gay and other men who have sex with men in Los Angeles. Barriers to anal cancer screening included lack of awareness, stigma, psychological and physical discomfort, the anus as hidden/private, primary concern with HIV, and men's lack of healthcare seeking. Facilitators were community screening sites, novel strategies such as home testing, health care system changes and targeted educational campaigns, which may increase anal cancer awareness and screening among ethnically diverse men who have sex with men.