CYWC – UC Davis


Research Findings:
Cultural Barriers to Pap Testing

Vietnamese women have a higher rate of cervical cancer than any other ethnic group in the U.S., with a rate five times higher than that of white women. Cervical cancer is also the most preventable of all cancers, as regular Pap test screenings will allow for early detection of the cervical abnormalities that can lead to cervical cancer.

In order to address this pressing health inequity, the UC Davis students decided to research the cultural and institutional barriers that API women face in getting Pap tests. Some of the major findings:

  • Vietnamese American women are more likely to learn about Pap testing from school and/or doctors. White women are more likely to learn about Pap testing from their mothers and/or doctors.
  • Vietnamese American women are three times less likely than Whites to have EVER gotten a Pap test. The only ethnic difference was in cost of Pap testing – a greater percentage of Vietnamese women said that cost prevented them from getting Pap tests.
  • Women with private insurance are 2.4 times more likely than those without insurance to have EVER gotten a Pap test.

» Read the factsheet that summarizes the students’ complete findings.

Activism Project

The students launched a distinctive bright pink “Got Pap?” campaign that included community and on-campus presentations, and discussions with the university’s student health center administrators about the cost barriers to obtaining Pap tests. One of the students also presented their research findings in a workshop at the 2007 California API Policy Summit.

The campaign culminated in an opening reception and art exhibit at the UC Davis Memorial Union gallery. The exhibit, entitled “Speak Out: Asian Pacific Islander Youth Voices in Art,” was a collaboration between CYWC, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), and community API artists and allies. For the exhibit, the CYWC students showcased their collaborative community art project, “Reproductive Health: Through Our Eyes,” featuring 80 art panels symbolizing the reproductive health stories of the community.