Development of a cervical cancer prevention text-messaging program for women living with HIV

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Health education research




Cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination are critical for those immunocompromised due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Health education programs, including text messaging, can effectively improve knowledge of cervical cancer and recommended screening. This paper describes the data-driven development of a 4-week text-messaging intervention to improve HPV and cervical cancer knowledge among women living with HIV (WLH). This study reports data from surveys (n = 81; January 2020 to September 2021) and focus group discussions (FGDs, n = 39; April-June 2020) conducted among WLH in the DC area. While most WLH revealed that their usual sources of health information were through in-person group sessions, they pointed out that these were impractical options due to the coronavirus 2019 pandemic. They noted that a text-messaging intervention was feasible and acceptable. FGD participants' responses structured around the Protection Motivation Theory constructs informed the text-messaging library, covering topics such as (I) understanding of cervical cancer and HPV, (II) cervical cancer prevention and (III) HPV self-sampling. The utilization of low-cost and easily accessible health education interventions, such as mobile-based text messaging, can effectively increase knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer in populations that have been historically difficult to access and during times when health services are disrupted such as during a global pandemic or public health emergency.


Nursing Faculty Publications