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  • Writer's pictureD.P. Stephens

HPV 101 for Women of Color

Black & Hispanic women have the highest rates of HPV-associated cancers

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the number-one sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States, and in fact, the world. It is so common that most people who are sexually active will get it at some point in their lives. High-risk strains of the virus can lead to several types of cancer. There are three HPV vaccines approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA): Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. All of these prevent infections with the high-risk HPVs (types 16 and 18) that are responsible for about 70% of cervical cancers.

Still there are significant disparities in rates of infection and HPV related cancers when you look at Black and Hispanic women's experience. This is because there are both biological and social processes influencing these women's vulnerability to infection, including types of high risk strains, rates of vaccination, levels of awareness, and socio- historical sexual health stigmas.

This presentation examines how HPV infection occurs, vaccine uptake as a means of prevention, and the cultural values and experiences that shape Black and Hispanic women's experiences with this STI. This presentation was prepared for the Girl Power of Miami's Parenting Workshop series. You can also view this on Youtube.

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