Cervical Cancer Screening With Human Papillomavirus Self-Sampling Among Transgender Men in El Salvador

Purpose: Sexual and gender minority persons in low-income countries have very limited access to routine health services. This study evaluated the feasibility of using a self-sampled human papillomavirus (HPV) test to increase access to screening for cervical cancer among transgender men in El Salvador. Methods: We partnered with a local advocacy organization for recruitment. A total of 24 transgender men (men assigned female at birth) ages 19-55 were enrolled and provided consent. Questionnaires assessed sociodemographics, health and sexual histories, and knowledge about HPV and cervical cancer. Screening was performed with a self-sampled HPV test. Participants with a positive test were offered colposcopy and cryotherapy treatment, if appropriate. Those with a negative test were advised to return in 5 years for rescreening. Results: Out of 24 consenting participants, 23 (95.83%) agreed to conduct HPV self-sampling, and 22/23 (95.65%) expressed willingness to self-sample in the future. Among self-sampled individuals, 3/23 (13%) tested positive and accepted colposcopy and biopsy. Analyses of biopsied tissue revealed one case of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1. Conclusion: HPV self-sampling and subsequent procedures were accepted by the majority of participants. This screening method may be a viable alternative to cytology among transgender men in El Salvador.