Remember this post where I stated that I recently went for a repeat Pap smear? I ended up calling the doctor’s office today to get the results because they hadn’t called me by the end of last week like they said they would. It’s a little annoying that I had to follow up with them in order for them to do their job, but that’s probably a whole other post altogether. Anyhoo, the virus is still active, though the pap was normal, meaning no cell changes were detected in the cervix. So I’m aggravated by that. I also stumbled upon this post the other day where a study was done that indicated that black women take longer to clear HPV. Since I do happen to be black, it would stand to reason that the study was particularly relevant to me. Initially, I wasn’t going to take that study at face value mainly due to the fact that the sample size between the white and black women was fairly small and uneven. Also, researchers at times have manipulated data so that the results can show what they want them to show, not necessarily what they show naturally. Blacks in general have a long history of distrust of the medical establishment, due to performing studies and experiments without our full knowledge or consent (Tuskegee is a prime example) as well as espousing theories that served to perpetuate racism and inequality. However, after thinking about it some more, I became infuriated. Given all the racial stuff that’s been going on of late, I was like, “Wonderful. Yet another indication on how blacks are inferior.” A professor I had in college used to put stuff like this in these terms: “Anything that is deemed positive, blacks have less of it. Anything deemed negative, blacks have more of it.” So yeah, the racists out there can see a study like this and think that it proves that all black women are ‘hos, that we have defective genes or whatever. Never mind that there are plenty of diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, that primarily affect whites and rarely affect blacks at all, but then, anything negative concerning whites are an anomaly and anything negative concerning blacks are considered normative. Given the relatively small sample size, the results could be an anomaly and the article states follow up studies are needed to see if the results are validated. Some people will offer the following arguments for the possible explanations for the measured effect:
- the effect is due to the type of HPV most common in that population, not in how black people respond to HPV
- the students measured were not typical of the general population
- the effect is correlated more with economic status than race
Be that as it may, I still feel a little uneasy about it, but until more research is done, we won’t know if there really are racial differences in reference to the virus since it may affect treatment strategies down the road. They can’t come soon enough to help me.