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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is everywhere. It is the planetís most common sexually transmitted infection.
Itís a catchy bugger. Almost every woman I know has it. I have it. The few women I know who do not have HPV are married to the only man theyíve ever had sex with. The weird thing is that men donít seem to know about HPV. Around 50 percent of all men are carriers and pass on the disease, but they have no idea. Because almost every strain only affects women, many men are completely clueless.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, ďapproximately 6.2 million new cases of sexually transmitted HPV infections are reported every year. At least 20 million people in this country are already infected.Ē Really, it seems that if you have had sex with a few people, you have HPV.
Oddly, I first learned about HPV a couple years ago from a man I was dating. I had vaguely heard of it, but didnít know exactly what it was. I had gone out with this particular man a handful of times, but we hadnít yet had sex. We were removing each otherís clothing when he started to shy away. I asked what was wrong and his reply was, ďyou never know what people can get just by rubbing against each other.Ē My initial reaction to this was to be insulted; I felt like I was being accused of having something. After talking for a few minutes though, I found out that this guy had recently received a call from someone he had had sex with. She had informed him that she had one of the HPV high risk strains. This guy was concerned about giving it to me. I thought it was nice of him, but didnít give it much thought and had sex with him anyway. I forgot about the conversation soon after it happened.
Around a year after this incident, the HPV guy was long gone. I had a new boyfriend and it was time for my annual physical. To keep a prescription for birth control pills, women need to have a checkup every year. Itís how they make you go to the doctor instead of skipping it for years on end. I was into my new boyfriend and wanted to keep my birth control prescription, so I went to the doctor for my annual physical. A pap smear was included in this appointment. My results came back as abnormal, so my primary care doctor sent me to a gynecologist.

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