A couple years ago I ended up getting my first abnormal pap-smear. My gynocologist told me I was positive for HPV. This sounded so terrible to me since I did not know anything about it. I thought oh my god I have genital herpes and I cried and became depressed. I took the news pretty heavily. I had no idea what HPV was other than it was herpes, and my gynocologist did not tell me anymore information about it. I was confused and really scared. I was promiscuous before I was with my boyfriend at the time, so I had no idea who I had gotten it from. To put it frankly, the news really made me feel like sh** about myself and then i started to feel really guilty that I might have transmitted it to my boyfriend.
Throughout my tribulations, I finally learned a few things that help me cope with HPV, the most enlightening one being that 80% of people are infected with HPV. This number is ghastly, and many people have no idea how common HPV is. I was really surprised at the casual attitude that my new gynocologist had (casual beyond professionalism) when I was speaking with her about it. It is so common, you are practically expected to have it. It's likely that you might have HPV and not know it. This can be really terrible for women who do not get their annual papsmears because high grade strains of HPV like the one I got causes cervical cancer.
(I had a colposcopy last year, but the treatment did not work. My cells got a little bit worse, so I had to repeat it again this year. I will have a follow up in a couple of weeks to see if it was successful.)
There is a vaccine available called Gardasil. (I did get the vaccine, but I still ended up getting infected cervical cells. This was probably because I was infected before the vaccination, or that I just had another strain that was not in the vaccine.) I hate sounding preachy, but I really feel that all women who are cautious, and especially those who are promiscuous, should get vaccinated to protect themselves. Also, always use a condom when having sex with new partners even though they say they are STD-free because there is no way to detect HPV in men unless it's apparent like genital warts (which is a low grade strain of HPV- i guess doctors use "high grade" and "low grade" in terms of how likely it is to give you cervical cancer). I can see that as being the only ways to not get HPV - or bite the bullet since your body does eventually build immunity. Some people might not know that they have had HPV and their body has already gotten rid of it and built immunity. The effects of HPV vary among people, but it is important to be well informed on this virus that affects 80% of us. Most importantly, get your annual pap-smear so you can have peace of mind that your sexual organ is healthy, and if it's not, then you can catch it while it's early and treat the problem before it develops in to something serious like cancer.
Thanks for taking your time to read this!
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