Vol 8 Issue 1

Vol. 8, Issue 1 – Holistic Approaches to Preventing HPV Infections and Related Diseases

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Many First Nations people believe that we walk alongside the spirits of our ancestors. Each day their indigenous knowledge and practices guide our walk towards health, the “good life.” To reach the good life, we must work together, walk together. This issue of the Journal of Aboriginal Health ( JAH) is an example of this, where a diverse group of about 60 individuals—from physicians to community members—have come together to advance what we know about preventing human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and related diseases. Continue reading

Exploring HPV Infections and Cervical Screening With Multiple Lenses

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This issue of the Journal of Aboriginal Health ( JAH) explores human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and cervical screening in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis populations from a holistic perspective. This vantage point recognizes that health is a balance among the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. This issue also acknowledges that health is influenced by more than personal health practices, including socioeconomics, access to care, and other social determinants of health. Continue reading

When the Data Does Not Match the Story:

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Do Trauma and Addictions Issues Really Characterize Poor Cervical Cancer Screening Uptake Among Manitoba First Nation Women Living On-Reserve? Aboriginal women in Canada have higher rates of cervical cancer than non-Aboriginal women, and they are less likely to have regular cervical cancer screening (Pap smear). Some studies have suggested a link between traumatic life experiences such as childhood abuse and being less likely to have a Pap smear, while others have found that Aboriginal women face more barriers in accessing health care services. Continue reading

Intimate Stories: Aboriginal Women’s Lived Experiences of Health Services in Northern British Columbia and the Potential of Creative Arts to Raise Awareness About HPV, Cervical Cancer, and Screening

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Many Aboriginal people face significant barriers in accessing health services, including screening for cervical cancer. These can be anything from geographical isolation, to lack of knowledge about screening, to feelings of discomfort about the medical system. The authors of this paper sought to identify what some of those barriers are for Aboriginal women living in northern British Columbia, using qualitative research methods that allowed the women themselves to tell their stories. Continue reading

HPV Detection by Self-Sampling in Nunavik, Quebec: Inuit Women’s Sampling Method Preferences

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Screening for cervical cancer is most often done with a Papanicolaou (Pap) smear, where a health care provider uses a swab to collect cells from the cervix. In areas where few women take part in cervical cancer screening programs, self-sampling of cervicovaginal cells has been suggested as a way to increase participation in screening. The authors of this study wanted to find out whether Inuit women in Nunavik, Quebec—an area with high rates of HPV infection and cervical cancer—preferred provider-sampling or self-sampling Continue reading

Ethical Space for a Sensitive Research Topic: Engaging First Nations Women in the Development of Culturally Safe Human Papillomavirus Screening

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First Nations women are widely under-screened for HPV infection and cervical cancer. This may be due to issues around screening for a sexually transmitted infection. These issues may include experiences of stigmatization, feelings of shame, and fear of lack of privacy when results are reported in very small communities. Any HPV research in First Nations communities must be done in a sensitive, respectful, and culturally appropriate way, preferably involving community members themselves. Continue reading