New publication in Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada on cervical cancer screening

Contribution by: Elisabeth McClymont

Recently, there have been a number of changes to cervical screening programs (Pap smear programs) in Canada and globally. In Canada, these changes have included a later start age for screening and a wider interval between screening visits. However, the documents outlining these changed recommendations and the evidence behind them have acknowledged that they are not applicable to immunocompromised women such as women living with HIV and solid organ transplant recipients.  Because the immune system is altered in these women, they are at greater risk for HPV infection and progression to cervical cancer.

Our team sought to examine the evidence surrounding optimal screening for this important population of women and to produce guidelines for use across the country. These guidelines will provide physicians with the recommendations and supporting evidence to provide best practice cervical screening to their immunocompromised patients in Canada.