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Take Charge of Your Health

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 Learn about HPV and how a simple PAP Smear test can save your life.

Listen up, ladies. Did you know that even though the general rates for cervical cancer have declined, Black women

are diagnosed with cervical cancer at twice the rate of white women. African American women are also at twice the
risk of dying from cervical cancer than Caucasian women. Yet, cervical cancer is 100% preventable.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Spread the Word. Save a Sister is a public education campaign from the Balm In Gilead’s ISIS Project (Intimate Sessions for Informed Sexuality). Initially launched in 2005, the goal of the Isis Project is to inform and educate African-American women about cervical cancer and to encourage them to take the HPV test and to become knowledgeable about the HPV vaccine. The ISIS Project encourages African-American women between the ages of 30 and 70 years old to become empowered to safeguard their health by learning about HPV, cervical cancer and the need for regular screening with the Pap test and HPV test.

The medical data speaks for itself:

— African-American women are at least 50% more likely to die from cervical cancer than white women.

— Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infection with an extremely common and contagious virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV); although there are approximately 15 cancer-causing HPV types, types 16 and 18 are responsible for 70% of all cervical cancers worldwide.

— Many women are not aware that cervical cancer is preventable and that new technologies like the HPV test are an important weapon in the fight against cervical cancer.

— African-American women are not aware of the vaccine against the disease that is available for women under 26 years of age.

— Almost one third of all women in the U.S. had no health insurance in 2005, and some cannot pay for routine screenings like Pap tests or the HPV test or the now available vaccine.

— New technologies including HPV testing for screening women and HPV vaccination for girls offer new opportunities to prevent cervical cancer among African-American women.

To learn more, please visit www.theisisproject.org/spread_the_word

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