New research shows that black women seem to have more trouble clearing HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer. The study shows black women hold onto HPV virus for 18 months instead of 12 in whites.
Doctors have long thought that less access to screening and follow-up health care were the reasons black women are 40 per cent more likely to develop cervical cancer and twice as likely to die from it. The new study involving young college women suggests there might be a biological explanation for the racial disparity, that may have something to do with the immune system.
The vaccine is recommended for all girls starting at age 11.
Learn more about HPV infection at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.