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VIA – An Alternative to Pap Smears

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The Pap Smear Test dates back to the nineteen twenties and was named after a Greek doctor, George Papanicolaou (PA-PA-NI-KO-LAO).  It is a test designed to detect cancerous cells inside a woman’s cervix.  Less than a century later, an alternative was found known as the VIA or the Visual Inspection using Acidic Vinegar.  In Belize, the Belize Family Life Association led the way in bringing this alternative testing to Belize in early 2016.  Eighteen months later, the Ministry of Health adapted the method and it is now being offered in the public health clinics.  Joan Burke-Skeen spoke to Love News on its effectiveness and benefits.


Once the VIA is conducted and cancerous cells are detected, treatment can be had right away called Cryotherapy.  The cryotherapy is done with the condition that there can be no sexual activity for six weeks.  This aspect also outweighs the option of the Pap smear testing.


The VIA procedure is offered at the Belize Family Life Association as well as the public health clinics.

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