Advances in Screening and Prevention in Reproductive Cancers (ASPIRE)

Primary Contact: Visit for more information.

About the study: ASPIRE is a women’s health initiative using innovative models and technologies to improve access to reproductive health in low income settings. Since 2007, ASPIRE has conducted various community-based cervical cancer screening initiatives in Kampala, Uganda using self collection-based HPV testing. The project takes an integrated health services approach to address cervical cancer along other reproductive health issues including sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Why is this research important? Cervical cancer, despite being almost entirely preventable, remains a leading cause of death among women in low and middle income countries largely due to the absence of screening programs in these regions. Cost-effective and acceptable tools are needed to improve access in low income settings. By integrating cervical cancer and reproductive health screening with routine HIV services, the health of vulnerable women can be protected while most effectively utilizing resources.

Study Status: 1) Randomized controlled trial comparing HPV self collection vs VIA in Kampala: complete; 2) Integration of cervical cancer screening with HIV services: under development; 3) Reproductive health & pregnancy outcomes in adolescents: under development.

Study results/publications:

Moses E, Pedersen HN, Mitchell SM, Sekikubo M, Mwesigwa D, Singer J, Biryabarema C, Byamugisha JK, Money DM, Ogilvie GS. Uptake of community-based, self-collected HPV testing vs. visual inspection with acetic acid for cervical cancer screening in Kampala, Uganda: Preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial. Trop Med Int Health. 2015; 20(10):1355-67.

Teng FF, Mitchell SM, Sekikubo M, Biryabarema C, Byamugisha JK, Steinberg M, Money DM, Ogilvie GS. Understanding the role of embarrassment in gynaecological screening: a qualitative study from the ASPIRE cervical cancer screening project in Uganda. BMJ Open 2014;4:4 e004783.

Mitchell SM, Sekikubo M, Biryabarema C, Byamugisha JJ, Steinberg M, Jeronimo J, Money DM, Christilaw J, Ogilvie GS. Factors associated with high-risk HPV positivity in a low-resource setting in sub-Saharan Africa. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014 Jan;210(1):81.e1-7.

Ogilvie G S, Mitchell S, Sekikubo M, Biryabarema C, Byamugisha J, Jeronimo J, Miller D, Steinberg M, Money D M. Results of a community-based cervical cancer screening pilot project using human papillomavirus self-sampling in Kampala, Uganda. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2013; 122 (2): 118–123.

Mitchell S, Ogilvie G, Steinberg M, Sekikubo M, Biryabarema C, Money D. Assessing women’s willingness to collect their own cervical samples for HPV testing as part of the ASPIRE cervical cancer screening project in Uganda. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2011;114(2):111-115.

Co-Investigators: Deborah Money, Jan Christilaw, Josaphat Byamugisha, Sheona Mitchell, Angela Kaida, Ashley Roberts, Curren Warf, Patricia Spittal

Funded by: CIHR, CFRI, BCCDC Foundation, UBC, BC Women’s Foundation

Partners: University of British Columbia, Makerere University, BCCDC