Grammy Award-wining singer-songwriter Ciara knows what it takes for women to get ahead, and part of that is by taking care of themselves, their health and well-being both inside and out. Now she’s bringing her message of empowerment and self-care to Black women by leading a conversation about cervical cancer, which disproportionately impacts Black women. As part of Cerving Confidence, a new initiative from the Black Women’s Health Imperative and Hologic’s Project Health Equality, Ciara will “level up conversations about health” and address disparities by inspiring Black women with the information they need to commit to their annual well-woman exam and get Pap and HPV testing to screen for cervical cancer.
Ciara highlights this message in her powerful PSA inviting Black women to join her in #CervingConfidence in their own lives and telling their girlfriends to do the same. Later this summer Ciara will host a virtual summit about the importance of self-care and how Black women can protect their own health. Free access to cervical cancer screening also will be provided at healthcare sites across the country. As for how easy it is to get tested, says Ciara, “Roll up. Pull up. Boom, bam, it’s done!”
Building on the idea of “serving looks,” Cerving Confidence is an extension of Project Health Equality, a collaboration that addresses the structural and cultural barriers that prevent Black women in the U.S. from receiving quality healthcare; Cerving Confidence is about Black women finding power in taking care of themselves and their cervical health.
In fact, while all women are at risk for cervical cancer, the unfortunate truth today is that Black women remain more at risk. Despite falling rates of cervical cancer overall since the Pap test was introduced in the 1950s, Black women in the U.S. are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women,1 and they are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer than any other racial group,2-3 which can lead to worse outcomes. In a time when cervical cancer can largely be prevented with regular screening, this is unacceptable.
To learn more about Cerving Confidence and to watch Ciara’s video encouraging Black women to commit to total self-care, which includes scheduling Pap and HPV testing, please visit cerving.bwhi.org.
1. Beavis AL, Gravitt PE. Hysterectomy-corrected cervical cancer mortality rates reveal a larger racial disparity in the United States. Cancer. 2017;123(6):1044-1050.
2. Olusola P, Banerjee HN, Philley JV, Dasgupta S. Human papilloma virus-associated cervical cancer and health disparities. Cells. 2019;8(6):622. doi:10.3390/cells8060622.
3. Arvizo C, Madhi H. Disparities in cervical cancer in African American women: What primary care physicians can do. Clev Clinic J Med. 2017;84(10):788-794.