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Pap Test Use Is Lower Among Female-to-Male Patients Than Non-Transgender Women

      Background

      A paucity of empirical research to date has examined cervical cancer screening in female-to-male (FTM) transgender men who retain their natal reproductive structures compared to non-transgender women.

      Purpose

      To examine patient and provider characteristics associated with being up-to-date on Pap tests, with a focus on gender identity and sexual orientation.

      Methods

      Retrospective chart review of 5,232 patients (4,882 women, 350 FTM transgender men) at an urban community health center. All HIV-negative primary care patients aged 21–64 years (inclusive) with at least one medical visit during the 2012 calendar year and who had a cervix as of December 31, 2012, were included. Data were analyzed in 2013 using a multilevel logistic regression model nesting patients within providers.

      Results

      FTM patients were significantly less likely to be up-to-date on Pap tests (AOR=0.63, 95% CI=0.47, 0.85) compared to non-transgender women, after adjusting for individual- and provider-level factors. Behaviorally bisexual patients, compared to patients who had sex with men exclusively, were more likely to be up-to-date (AOR=1.73, 95% CI=1.32, 2.26); patients reporting only sex with women were not significantly more or less likely to be up-to-date (AOR=1.01, 95% CI=0.83, 1.23).

      Conclusions

      Transgender patients are not accessing the same level of preventive cervical screening care as non-transgender female patients. There is a need to better understand barriers to care in this population. Contrary to findings in other settings, history of sex with women was not negatively associated with Pap utilization.
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