Lesbian Women should test for Cervical Cancer

By on Monday, April 27th, 2009

Approximately 2800 British women  are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. While it is second biggest killer of women in their thirties, Cervical cancer is one of the more preventable  cancers.  Early detection with cervical cancer  testing might save even more lives.

Cervical Cancer is a  significant risk for lesbian women.  Increased risk happens  around exposure to two particular strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  These two strains of HPV can be transmitted through sex between men and women as well as between women.

A supplementary report for South Centralin the UK produced from the Stonewall survey in 2007 showed the following results for Portsmouth Primary Care:

  • 56% of Lesbian/bisexual women had never been tested for STI’s or any other vaginal conditions.
  • 21% had never had a smear test. 10% had not had a smear test in 10 years.
  • 39% of women identifying as bisexual are having sexual intercourse with both men and women.
  • 85% of total respondents report having had sexual intercourse with men at some point in their sexual history.

We should also consider the statistic suggesting that 54% of respondents who have had a negative experience of PCT healthcare involvoing  smear testing of lesbian and bisexual women.

Clearly, more education and testing opportunities would go a long way towards saving more lives in our Lesbian community.

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