Open Access Research article

Willingness and acceptability of cervical cancer screening among HIV positive Nigerian women

Oliver C Ezechi12*, Chidinma V Gab-Okafor1, Per Olof Ostergren2 and Karen Odberg Pettersson2

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Sciences Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria

2 Division of Social Medicine and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:46  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-46

Published: 17 January 2013



The proven benefit of integrating cervical cancer screening programme into HIV care has led to its adoption as a standard of care. However this is not operational in most HIV clinics in Nigeria. Of the various reasons given for non-implementation, none is backed by scientific evidence. This study was conducted to assess the willingness and acceptability of cervical cancer screening among HIV positive Nigerian women.


A cross sectional study of HIV positive women attending a large HIV treatment centre in Lagos, Nigeria. Respondents were identified using stratified sampling method. A pretested questionnaire was used to obtain information by trained research assistants. Obtained information were coded and managed using SPSS for windows version 19. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine independent predictor for acceptance of cervical cancer screening.


Of the 1517 respondents that returned completed questionnaires, 853 (56.2%) were aware of cervical cancer. Though previous cervical cancer screening was low at 9.4%, 79.8% (1210) accepted to take the test. Cost of the test (35.2%) and religious denial (14.0%) were the most common reasons given for refusal to take the test. After controlling for confounding variables in a multivariate logistic regression model, having a tertiary education (OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.03-1.84), no living child (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.1-2.0), recent HIV diagnosis (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.1-2.0) and being aware of cervical cancer (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.2-2.0) retained independent association with acceptance to screen for cervical cancer.


The study shows that HIV positive women in our environment are willing to screen for cervical cancer and that the integration of reproductive health service into existing HIV programmes will strengthen rather than disrupt the services.

Cervical cancer; Screening; HIV; Acceptability