At Your Cervix: Overcoming barriers to cervical screening among LGBTIQ people with a cervix


Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet studies show that LGBTIQ people are less likely than the general population to attend cervical screening. Data from the Sydney Women and Sexual Health Survey (SWASH) 2016 shows that almost 20 percent of women in the LGBTIQ community have never had a Pap test and a quarter of young women have not had the HPV vaccine. US research on the health of trans and gender diverse people through the National Transgender Discrimination Survey highlights similar disparities, compounded by experiences of transphobia from healthcare providers. Inclusive research that focuses on LGBTIQ people who have a cervix in Australia is minimal. In 2016 and 2017, ACON released two community consultations that focused on Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) women and Trans and Gender Diverse (TGD) people‰’s experiences with cervical screening. Both surveys were inclusive of people with an intersex variation. Over 900 people responded, and the results provide a unique snapshot of LGBTIQ experiences of cervical screening, both in terms of quantitative data and personal narratives. ACON‰’s cervical screening campaign, designed to educate LGBTIQ people with a cervix about the changes to the National Cervical Screening Program and increase screening among priority populations, is an innovative and inclusive health promotion program and was directly informed by these community consultations. This presentation will outline the unique barriers LGBTIQ people face when it comes to accessing cervical screening and explain how the results from these consultations have been used to inform ACON‰’s Australian-first LGBTIQ-inclusive cervical screening campaign.


Viv McGregor |

Dr Viv McGregor is a Community Engagement Coordinator at ACON. She runs the sexually adventurous women’s sexual health project, I Love Claude, and is the ACON coordinator of the cervical screening and STI testing service, Check OUT, run in partnership with Family Planning NSW. She has a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney and has taught gender studies, queer theory, sexuality studies and feminist theory at USYD & UNSW.