POST B: Happy New Smear

Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths amongst women globally, with approximately 530,000 new cases every year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016) In Australia, numerous cervical cancer initiatives have appeared over the past two decades via a diverse range of media, encouraging women to receive regular check ups and the often “uncomfortable” Pap test. In December 2017, the two-yearly Pap test was removed and reintroduced with the five-yearly National Cervical Screening Program; a more effective and accurate technology used to detect potentially problematic signs. (Medianet, 2018) As a result of the change, in 2018 The Aids Council of New South Wales introduced a ground-breaking campaign titled ‘The Inner Circle’, that aimed to not only educate the importance and increase participation in cervical screening, but build awareness amongst all members of the LGBTIQ+ community with a cervix. (JOY 94.9, 2018)

‘The Inner Circle’ campaign is one funded through a grant from the Cancer Institute NSW and is the first large-scale, multi-platform effort to introduce the changes to screening to any community across Australia. They incorporate digital, social and direct community engagement approaches, as well as public placements in key locations across Sydney (Medianet, 2018) to reduce stigma and promote the health service, specifically targeting the LGBTIQ+ community who are often left out of ‘mainstream’ conversation on the topic. President of ACON, Dr Justin Koonin states “it was crucial the campaign reached not just ‘lesbians’ but the full spectrum of LGBTIQ people with a cervix. It had to reflect the diversity and address the misconceptions faced by this group.” (Koonin, 2018)

Inner Circle- Happy New Smear, Aids Council of New South Wales, 2018

The Inner Circle launched on New Years Day, 2018 with a video posted to Facebook called ‘Happy New Smear’, which would be the first of many successful projects designed under the initiative. Its success is measured in numbers, with this video shared internationally and viewed more than 14,000 times. The following videos that recognised individual experiences generated close to 100,000 views while its website engaged with 2500 visitors per month. (Goodwork Agency, 2018)

“A 2014 survey found that 20 per cent of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Sydney had never had a Pap test. People with trans experience face significant issues relating to cervical screening, such as trans men who report avoiding screening out of fear of discrimination.” (Price, 2018, para. 8) Partnering with Family Planning NSW, the campaign introduced the CheckOut clinic located in Surry Hills, Sydney, “delivering high quality services in a community-based setting.” (Bassil, 2018, para. 14)

In 2018, the initiative won the Australian Good Design Award in the Communication Design category, in recognition for outstanding design and innovation. The Inner Circle campaign continues to achieve their goals of raising awareness and interacting with LGBTIQ+ people, demonstrating a “progressive way of cervical screening.” (McGregor, 2018)

ACON Health 2018, Inner Circle – Happy New Smear, video recording, Youtube, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lTBztS4IQs&feature=emb_title>

Aids Council of New South Wales 2018, Check OUT The Inner Circle: Promoting Regular Cervical Screening For LGBTIQ People, Science and Medical Media Release, Medianet, Australian Associated Press, NSW, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.medianet.com.au/releases/153308/>

Aids Council of New South Wales 2019, About ACON, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.acon.org.au/about-acon/>

Aids Council of New South Wales 2019, New Campaign To Answer Your Questions About LGBTIQ Cervical Screening, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.aconhealth.org.au/new_campaign_to_answer_your_questions_about_lgbtiq_cervical_screening>

Good Work 2018, don’t just make it look and sound good. Make it save lives., viewed 19 November 2019, <https://www.goodwork.agency/acon-theinnercircleau/>

Good Work 2018, goodwork wins 2018 Good Design Award® for The Inner Circle, viewed 19 November 2019, <https://www.goodwork.agency/goodwork-wins-2018-good-design-award-for-the-inner-circle/>

McGregor, V. 2018, ‘The Informer’, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, radio broadcast, JOY 94.9, Melbourne, 6 February, viewed 19 November 2019, <https://joy.org.au/theinformer/2018/02/06/inner-circle-provide-care-support-anyone-nsws-lgbtiq-community-cervix/>

PHHA 2018, Top 10 public health successes over the last 20 years, PHAA Monograph Series no. 2, Canberra: Public Health Association of Australia, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.phaa.net.au/documents/item/3241>

The Inner Circle AU, About the Project, The Inner Circle, ACON, Sydney, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.theinnercircle.org.au/about-the-inner-circle>

William Small Jr, M.D., Monica, A., Linus, T., 2017, ‘Cervival Cancer: A Global Health Crisis’, Cancer, vol. 123, no. 13, viewed 19 November 2019, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cncr.30667>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s