Māori and Pasifika Aucklanders will be able to self-test for human papillomavirus (HPV) in a select number of health clinics from June.
The tests are being offered at a number of local medical clinics as part of a new research program by the Waitematā District Health Board (DHB), Auckland DHB, Counties Manukau Health and Total Healthcare PHO.
The names of the clinics will be published as soon as possible.
It did after the government announced it would allocate $ 53 million of this year’s budget to the nationwide rollout of HPV self-tests in 2023.
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The 18-month program is for women who have attended independent medical appointments at their usual local doctor clinics and whose records show they are due or overdue for a smear.
You have the choice of performing an HPV self-test in the clinic or at home. You can then bring the test back to the clinic or send the sample in.
It will then analyze the preferred method and the increase in self-tests, the results of which will help inform the Department of Health on how to conduct the national HPV self-test program in two years’ time.
Recent research from Massey University has shown how self-testing cervical swabs can reduce inequalities in cancer screening in the Māori and Pasifika communities.
The study, carried out in collaboration with DHBs Waitematā and Auckland, found that Māori were almost ten times more likely to self-test than a normal cervical smear, while Pacific participants were six times more likely.
Dr. Sarah Tout, clinical director of women’s health at Counties Manukau Health, said the current cervical screening method is an obstacle for many women.
“Currently, wāhine Māori die of cervical cancer at up to two to three times higher rates than other ethnic groups. As DHB, we are committed to improving the health outcomes of Māori and this research program has the potential to benefit wāhine Māori. “
Dr. Karen Bartholomew, Waitematā DHB and Auckland DHB director of health outcomes, said HPV self-tests have already been shown to be empowering and less invasive for women.
“The program will examine how this research is translated into a real, clinical setting.”
Bartholomew said the program will look at other aspects of cervical screening, including how to achieve a high follow-up rate for women who test positive for HPV to ensure they are getting the full benefit pull the screening.
In April, Cabinet Minister Kiritapu Allan announced she had been diagnosed with Stage 3 cervical cancer and highlighted the guidelines and procedures currently associated with HPV testing.
Allan from Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Tūwharetoa raised awareness of the relationship between Māori and Pacific deaths and lower screening rates.