Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA)

The procedure is simple. The health care provider simply swabs vinegar, i.e. acetic acid, on the cervix and looks for areas that change color. Normal cervical tissue remains unaffected by the acetic acid, but damaged tissue -- such as that found in pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions -- turns white. The provider can then remove the damaged tissue on the spot using cryotherapy or other techniques, or they can perform a biopsy for further follow-up.

Visual inspection of the cervix using acetic acid means looking at the cervix with a naked eye to detect abnormalities after application of dilute (3- 5%) acetic acid or vinegar or 19 ml of normal/distill water and 1 ml acetic acid . The area that is abnormal turns acetowhite, which shows that it may have precancerous lesions. VIA is recommended practice for low – resource settings compared to other screening test such as Pap smear because:

Since screening and treatment are done at the same visit, there is no need to wait for results and then return to the doctor/providers

  • It is safe, inexpensive and easy to perform
  • The test performance is similar to other tests used for cervical cancer screening.
  • It is non- invasive and effectively identifies many precancerous lesions;
  • It can be learned and provided by almost all health professionals at all levels of the health care system.
  • It provides immediate results on which decisions about management (treatment or referral) based:
  • Most equipment and supplies for his service are locally available
  • Instant treatment (cryotherapy) can be linked to this type of screening to offer women screening and treatment in a single visit.
  • VIA and Treatment by Cryotherapy as a Single Visit Approach (SVA)

Target population: Women aged between 25 – 60 years (this is as per the Nepal government)

All women will be screened who attend the health centres/who are in target group(This is as per government)

Regardless of HIV status all women will be screened for cervical cancer. 

To know more about VIA & Cryotherapy services in our Marie Stopes Centers, call our Meri Saathi Free Helpline Numbers on 16600119756 or 9801119756.