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Cervical cancer virus can be transmitted through same sex relationships, report warns

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5667 (Published 31 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5667
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    The human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer, can be transmitted through same sex relationships, says a new report commissioned by the NHS cervical screening programme.

    The report calls for more targeted healthcare advice on cervical cancer screening for lesbians.

    HPV, present in almost 100% of cases of cervical cancer, has historically been associated with heterosexual relationships, leading to the incorrect assumption that lesbian women were not at risk of developing cervical cancer and therefore did not need to be screened.

    The report emphasises the need to expand screening to take into account the fact that “lesbian and bisexual women may contract HPV through their own previous sexual behaviour with men” but also that the …

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