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Complications of gender reassignment surgery may present in the sexual health clinic

Male-to-female transsexuals (trans women) often undergo vaginoplasty, either alone or as part of gender reassignment surgery. As only three centres perform this in the UK, patients may live far from the centre where their surgery was performed, and may present to local sexual health clinics with complications. Suchak and colleagues describe the management of four such cases, stressing that confidentiality and a holistic approach are especially important for this group. See page 245

Ethnic minority women decline cervical screening because they underestimate their risk

Attracting ethnic minority women to attend for cervical screening can be challenging. Using in-depth interviews Marlow et al. show that emotional barriers such as shame, fear of cancer, and the interactions they have with health professionals may stand in the way of screening uptake. But in addition, Asian women perceived that they were at a low risk for cervical cancer as they associated this with sex outside of marriage. The authors argue that this group would benefit from more education and support in relation to cervical cancer. See page 248

HPV vaccination status may be a proxy for wider sexual health risk

Women vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination have been said to display higher levels of preventative behaviours and more positive attitudes to sexual health than unvaccinated individuals. Comparing indicators of risk and preventative behaviours among young women attending genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, Sadler et al. found that unvaccinated women displayed more high-risk sexual behaviour, leading the authors to suggest that routine assessment of HPV vaccination status may act as a surrogate marker for risk, and allow targeting of health promotion in the unvaccinated population. See page 255

Self-testing for HPV may be more acceptable to lesbian and bisexual women

HPV testing now plays an essential role in the prevention of cervical cancer, either in conjunction with cervical cytology or as a stand-alone test. …

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