Study: Asian Women Hesitate to Address Sexual Health Issues

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WESTMINSTER, Calif.  -- Asian women who are sexually active do not seek birth control or get Pap screenings. That’s what Dr. Tu-Uyen Nguyen, an assistant professor at Cal State Fullerton found during 2009-10, when her Asian American Studies course surveyed 800 female students about their sexual activity.

Nguyen, who holds Ph. D and master’s degrees in public health from UCLA, recently won the “Best Published Paper Award” from the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for her work. She spoke with Nguoi Viet 2 about her findings and what drives her to research health issues affecting the Asian American community.

"From other case studies, there’s a taboo regarding cervical cancer," Nguyen says. "API [Asian Pacific Islander] women are reluctant to come in and ask for these screenings. Part of it is cultural. It’s also structural where they don’t have insurance or don’t know services are available."  There needs to be some work done in terms of "education and increasing the lines of communication," she adds.