A study published in the Lancet found an at-home test for human papillomavirus (HPV) to be very effective and could be particularly useful in regions where women do not have access to pap tests, used to diagnose the infection. According to the researchers, the do-it-yourself tests were four times more likely to detect cases of cervical cancer and three times more likely to identify pre-cancerous cells, or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
Attila Lorincz, one of the researchers, stated, "Unlike many forms of disease, we can actually prevent cervical cancer-but only if women have access to screening or if younger girls are vaccinated against the virus...Our findings show that women are happy to take the test and that it is very sensitive at picking up women who are at risk of developing cancer. This sensitivity is vital for a woman who may only get tested once or twice in her life." Nevertheless, the researchers noted that the test produced more false-positives than tests administered at a doctors' office, and they called for more research concerning at-home HPV screening. The study examined over 20,000 women between the ages of 25 and 65.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that over one-third of American women are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) by the age of 24. While the majority of HPV strains are benign, some strains can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. About 2.2 percent of infected women have a strain that is high-risk for cervical cancer, the recent research finds. Gardasil, which prevents cervical cancer and genital warts caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, was approved by the FDA in June 2006.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 11/3/11; The Lancet 11/2/11; Reuters 11/1/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/26/11
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .