ICC 2019

Keitly Mensah

Keitly Mensah, Speaker at Cancer Conferences
Ceped, France
Title : Beliefs and perception about cervical cancer screening among HIV positive women in cote d Ivoire


Background: With 50,000 death every year, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cause of death by cancer in sub-Saharan countries. Due to high risk human papilloma virus (hr-HPV) persistence on the cervix, leading to premalignous lesions, the disease is more frequent among HIV-positive women. In low- and middle-income countries, cervical cancer screening strategy relies on visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), an operator-dependent technic. Alternatives, using HPV-based detection through self-sampling are promising as it could increase women participation in screening and empowerment. Ivory Cost is part of a multi-country study on HPV Xpert assay-based screening among HIV-infected women (AIMA-CC project). Yet, few studies analysed the potential socio-cultural factors associated with cervical cancer screening in this context. Our study aims to assess beliefs and perceptions toward cervical cancer among HIV positive women in Abidjan.
Methods: We performed 21 in-depth interviews with two groups of HIV positive women: randomly attending a health center or member of a women association, in November 2018. All interviews were transcribed. Both Health Belief Model and PEN-3 Model were used as theoretical framework to categorize women’s perceptions, enablers, nurturers, perceived gravity, perceived benefits and self-efficacy about cervical cancer, cervical screening and self-sampling technique introduction.
Results: Facilitators to HPV testing were knowledge about cervical cancer, awareness about women’s vulnerability and HIV status role on it. Fear appeared to be a barrier to screening but also a facilitator among women with health awareness. Barriers to screening included lack of interest for HIV-associated health conditions, poor knowledge about screening and lack of resources to get treated. Self-sampling was considered as of interest, but most women would rather rely on health care providers to perform the sampling for HPV test. Conclusions: This study provides useful information for counselling and opens the door to HPV-based screening implementation


Dr. Mensah studied medicine at the Lyon University, France and graduated from her Public Health residency in 2016. She then joined the Metcalf Lab at Princeton University and worked as a Research Associate Specialist. Since October 2018, she joined the Ceped within the Health track and started her phD under Alexandre Dumont’s supervision. Her research focuses on different aspects of HPV-based cervical screening implementation in different contexts in WestAfrican countries.