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January 14, 2010

Anal Pap Smears About as Effective as Cervical Cancer Screening

"Anal Pap smears are similar to cervical Pap smears in their ability to detect precancerous cells, according to a study published online January 6 in AIDS, and they appear to work better in people with HIV whose CD4 counts are below 400, compared with those with higher CD4s. However, anal Paps are not as effective at finding precancerous cells as an expert visual examination of the anus and rectum through a scope.

"Anal cancer is on the rise in people living with HIV. Anal cancer also occurs at higher rates among people with HIV than among HIV-negative people, even when HIV-positive people have high CD4 cells."

Read more in POZ, January 12, 2010.