Home-based cervical cancer screening with self-collection of HPV samples may be a cost-effective way to improve screening coverage in El Salvador, according to a new modeling study by CHDS Senior Research Scientist Nicole Campos and colleagues.
HPV DNA testing- which detects human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer – was introduced into El Salvador’s public health care system in 2012. While participation at demonstration sites has been high, there remain women who do not attend the clinic for screening. Using cost and health service delivery data from a study of home-based HPV self-collection facilitated by health promoters in El Salvador, Campos and colleagues used a mathematical model of HPV infection and cervical carcinogenesis to project the health and economic impact of the outreach program for screening non-attenders.
The modeling study found that home-based based self-collection of HPV samples is likely to be a cost-effective intervention in El Salvador. An integrated screening program offering both clinic-based screening by providers and HPV self-collection at home may be an efficient and effective way to reach women who face significant barriers to screening at the clinic. The authors hope that their findings will lead to policies that improve screening coverage for vulnerable populations in El Salvador and other low-resource settings.