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Table 2 Themes of barriers to anal self-examination (ASE)

From: Exploring anal self-examination as a means of screening for anal cancer in HIV positive men who have sex with men: a qualitative study

Attitudinal barriers

Concern about discomfort with any anal examinations


Anxiety about finding an abnormality


Preference for a health professional to do an anal examination


Too many sensations or sexual connotations with ASE

Knowledge barriers

Lack of awareness of anal cancer risk


Ignorance of how anal cancer presents

Practical barriers

Inadequate physical flexibility to conduct an ASE


Importance of cleanliness before ASE