Background: Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is increasing evidence that anorectal STIs are important in terms of the dual epidemics of HIV and STIs in this setting. At the time of this study, anorectal STI testing was not possible, and there was no mechanism for self-collection of anorectal specimen among at risk 'key populations'. This paper documents the development of a culturally appropriate tool that has been used to facilitate self-collection of anorectal specimens with key populations in PNG.
Methods: This qualitative study involved four focus groups conducted with a purposive sample of 35 participants, including female sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgender women in Port Moresby and Goroka in 2015. During focus groups, participants reviewed and provided critical feedback for the adaption of a previously piloted and published pictorial anorectal specimen collection tool for use with key populations in PNG.
Results: The final instruction tools are presented in English language and Tok Pisin. To develop these, participants feedback resulted in six key areas of the existing instruction document being modified to ensure it was appropriate for use in PNG. These included translating complex words for sexual health issues (i.e. 'STIs', 'anorectal STIs', 'anus', 'anal sex'), biomedical instruments (i.e. 'specimen bottle', 'specimen packet' and 'swab'), and aspects of the clinical procedure (i.e. inserting the swab 3-4 cm into the anus to collect a specimen). The visual identity of the graphics was redesigned to localise the images for use in PNG.
Conclusions: This paper describes the development of a culturally and linguistically appropriate tool for a biomedical and clinical intervention with key populations in PNG based around self-collection of anorectal specimens for molecular STI testing. The final tools have been used to facilitate the self-collection of anorectal specimens following a clear clinical protocol during a large bio-behavioural survey in PNG.