Factors associated with self-reported anal cancer screening history in men who have sex with men

Joseph T. Hicks, Lu Yu Hwang, Sarah Baraniuk, Margaret White, Elizabeth Y. Chiao, Nkechi Onwuka, Michael W. Ross, Alan G. Nyitray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at greater risk of developing anal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) than the rest of the general population. Currently, there are no formal national guidelines in the US advising men how and when to get anal cancer screening. We sought to assess differences in demographics, familiarity and anxiety about anal cancer among men who report having had anal cancer screening (i.e. anal cytology and/or a digital anorectal examination (DARE)). Methods: MSM were recruited to participate in a study to assess the feasibility of teaching self and partner anal examinations as a means of screening for anal cancer. Data for this secondary analysis were obtained using a written pre-test and a computer-assisted self-interview. Factors associated with screening were assessed with multivariable logistic regression to allow calculation of adjusted odds ratios (aORs). Results: Of the 197 participants with data, 145 (73.6%) reported having had anal cancer screening (either anal cytology, DARE or both) during their lifetime. Men who were younger, Black and HIV-negative were associated with decreased odds of reporting any type of anal cancer screening. For example, compared with White men, Black men were 80% less likely to report screening (aOR 0.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.1-0.5). Self-perception of anal cancer knowledge was not associated with screening in multivariable analysis (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 0.6-3.9). Conclusions: Age, race and HIV status were independently associated with a history of anal cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-98
Number of pages3
JournalSexual Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (No. NCI 1R21CA181901-02) to Alan G. Nyitray.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 CSIRO.


  • MSM
  • human papillomavirus


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