Yale Research Finds a Large Racial Gap in Awareness of the HPV Vaccine

yaleA study by researchers at the Yale Cancer Center that was recently presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago found a large racial gap in knowledge about the effectiveness of a vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus is primarily transmitted by sexual contact and can cause cervical cancer and other cancers. The federal government recommends that women between the ages of 18 and 26 get the vaccination.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Yale researchers found that nearly 58 percent of White Americans were aware of the vaccine compared to only 46 percent of African Americans. There was a similar racial gap about awareness of the vaccine among women in the target group of those aged 18 to 26.

“In an era when such tremendous advances have been made, and we can prevent cancer with vaccines, it is unfathomable that such differences exist in the simple awareness of these vaccines based on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities. We have got to do better,” said senior author Anees Chagpar, M.D., associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine and the assistant director for diversity and health equity at Yale Cancer Center.

Related Articles


  1. Dr Anees Chagpar, do not jump so fast to the conclusion that lack of simple awareness is somehow so alarming. Who did they survey? I am the parent of a 19 year old and we along with her gynecologist, found that there is not enough known about the side effects of the vaccines to convince us that the benefits outweigh the risks.
    If our nation is committed to eradicating cancer, why are so many new facilities being built for cancer research and treatment yet people continue to die. Demand for cancer facilities, like prisons, continue to increase not because results meet expectation. Rather, they are the most profitable businesses in America at the expense of the very customers they should serve. Extending life is a cheap substitute for a cure.
    Count the cost before you jump on this bandwagon.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

AI Teaching Assistants Are Coming to Morehouse College

The AI teaching assistant initiative aims to provide students with an office hours setting they can access at any time, even when their professor is unavailable. Over the next three to five years, Morehouse hopes to establish an AI teaching assistant for every professor at the college.

Five African American Scholars Appointed to New Faculty Positions

The new faculty appointments are Judith Byfield at Cornell University, Nikki Hoskins at Harvard University, Edda Fields-Black at Carnegie Mellon Universityin Pittsburgh, Shawn Utsey at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw at the University of Pennsylvania.

Wiley University Launches New Honors College for Fall 2024 Semester

The Heman Sweatt Honors College will provide students with access to a dedicated living community, specialized classes and research opportunities, faculty mentors, and financial aid for tuition, internships, and study abroad experiences.

Two Black Historians in Higher Education Receive Prestigious Dan David Prize

Keisha Blain of Brown University and Cécile Fromont of Harvard University have received 2024 Dan David Prizes for their outstanding achievements as academic historians.

Featured Jobs