Jun 3, 2010

Raising Awareness Thursday - HPV Virus

Lee from Headaches, Hormones and Hotflashes and Tami from Hearts Make Families are using their Raise Awareness this Thursday to discuss  the HPV Virus. Help out the cause, tell your story or just get the word out and link back up at Lee's blog!

These are the facts that Lee had up:

*an estimated 75% to 80% of males and females will be infected with HPV in their lifetime

*about 6 million new cases of genital HPV in the United States each year

*74% of cases occur in 15- to 24-year-olds

*affects both females and males

*transmission can happen with any kind of genital contact with someone who has HPV—intercourse isn’t necessary

*the virus often has no signs or symptoms

*in women, 2 types of HPV cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases

*in men, HPV can cause genital warts

*GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV

Another one not listed here...you can get HPV orally and is it has been linked to throat cancer.  So all the proponents of oral isn't sex or there aren't as many risk that way out there, here is another mark to the contrary.

My story began when I was 18.  I was in my first semester of collage and was in a serious relationship.  I was on the pill.  We didn't feel the need for any more protection than that since both of our experiences prior had been few and protected.  I went in for my second ever pap smear that fall.  I got a call back a week later requesting that I come in with in the week for a biopsy.  The pap had come back with a positive for HPV and typically that meant warts, but it needed to be examined further.  It was a strenuous week and a lot of fighting and blaming occurred in the relationship.

I think it was one week later when we found out it was pre-cancerous cells and I would need to have the freezing done.

I broke off my relationship after that due to feelings of confusion, stress and uncertainty about what would happen.  I was unaware what it meant to depend on someone, and wasn't able to do it in this situation.  I didn't even tell my parents.  Knowing now how insurance statements work, I know they found out since I was still on their policy.  But they never said anything.

I scheduled the procedure for 3 weeks later for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  I ended up calling the boyfriend because I would need someone to drive me home after the procedure.

Everyone says that childbirth is the most painful experience a woman will ever endure.  But that memory fades because you get this wonderful gift in return.  I won't say the cryosurgery (nitrogen freezing) was more painful, but the memory is more prominent.

I have often been in conversations with a parent who is against vaccinating their daughter against an STD, and one that is so prominent, thinking that this will give them the green light to be sexually active.  I have a several arguments to the opposite.

  1. My children have no clue what their immunization are for
  2. Even if they never have sex till they are married, they can still get this from their future spouse
  3. Do you want to take the chance you child can get something that can kill them and you have the ability to prevent it?
There are other companies working on more vaccines and even ones that are targeted to boys.

If you do share with you child that you are immunized them for this, please make sure they know there are over 100 strains of HPV and this vaccine only protects against 4.


Lee said...

Thank you for sharing and what a great post. I love that you put in that you can get it from Oral sex, which is an important fact to know about. I hope they come up with a shot for boys soon, because if they do, I will be giving it to my son as well as my daughter!

MiMi said...

What a great way to spread the word about it!
I'm too old for the vaccine, but my boys will probably get it.
I was surprised to hear the Dr. say that they would be getting them, but they figure one of the best way it's transmitted is from sexual relations and boys can carry it.
My friend had the cryosurgery and she said it hurt worse than anything.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I plan on getting the vaccine for my daughter.

jessalyn said...

thanks for sharing this. i got the vaccine, and still tested positive for it even though i did not have one single symptom. i was lucky, i passed the virus with no problems, but i know so many girls who have gone through so many painful procedures.
it's great to see the word spread about this!

Erin said...

I am so glad you posted about this b/c I confess I was pretty clueless...I think the vaccine is a great idea and you're right---most kids won't even know what they're getting it for.

Thanks for sharing your personal story about this!

Salt said...

Wow. It is so amazing the numbers of people that are infected, but yet I've heard so little about it. Thank you for posting up all of these facts!

RN Mama said...

I appreciate you sharing your story on this! Honestly, even being a nurse, I know very little about HPV. When the time comes, I will most likely get my daughters vaccinated!

Eternally Distracted said...

I knew very little about this so your post has certainly raised my awareness so thank you