It seems these days we are inundated with causes and campaigns to raise awareness for this or that. There are all sorts of bracelet, t-shirts, commercials, billboards and mass e-mails employed to get our short attention span. Unless we have been personally effected I think we often just over look such things as part of a growing fad. (or is that just me?)
When I first saw on tv the actresses asking you to tell some one about cervical cancer and the connection to it with HPV I honestly just shrugged.. and after the fifth time started rolling my eyes. I don't know why.. indifference.. laziness.. boardum.. frankly it just didn't click with me that I actually knew some one effected by HPV. Then yesterday I got an e-mail asking you to pass it on with a link to get a free bracelet kit.. I was slightly annoyed for some reason... don't know why..maybe I am sick of all the fwds I have been getting or the junk flooding my e-mail or the thought of ANOTHER bracelet.. that idea has been so over played right, but before I clicked delete my mother came to my memory and what she had told me a few years ago. I felt a prompting to reply to this e-mal the facts about HPV that I knew of second hand, that HPV is preventable.. it is spread threw sexual contact. I started to get a bit upset that fact was not stated directly in the commercial or the e-mail going around.
My mother had been married to my father since she was 19 and only had one previous sexual partner (that's what she told me and I tend to believe her). They had been married over 20 yrs when my father died of lung cancer. During the course of their marriage my mother had had problems with cysts and cervical cancer and a few miscarriages that I don't really know much about. At the time the doctors didn't know about HPV or had a dianossies for it. I know my father had at least one affair and my mother attributes her later dianossies of HPV from him. My mother eventually had to have a full hysterectomy and is still dealing with her anger towards my dead father for what she feels he indirectly caused.
Here are some facts:
Genital HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
The types of HPV that infect the genital area are spread primarily through genital contact. Most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms; therefore, most infected personsare unaware they are infected, yet they can transmit the virus to a sex partner.
Most women are diagnosed with HPV on the basis of abnormal Pap tests. A Pap test is the primary cancer-screening tool for cervical cancer or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix, many of which are related to HPV. (The pisser is there is No test developed for MEN to see if they have it and if they are potently spreading it)
There is no "cure" for HPV infection, although in most women the infection goes away on its own.
The surest way to eliminate risk for genital HPV infection is to refrain from any genital contact with another individual. HPV infection can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom, as well as in areas that are not covered. While the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, an HPV-associated disease.
And here is something to chew on the next time you think of "hooking up" with that hottie:
Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.
Chances are that I may have HPV, even though I have been married for 10 yrs.. both my husband and I had previous sexual partners and my mother fears my sister and I could of been infected by our own father since he abused us. (Boy he is really sounding like a bastard huh).
What it all boils down to.. reduce your sexual partners.. ie.. wait for marriage and stay faithful to that covenant.. because if you don't you could be risking your life or the life of your future mate. And that goes with out saying for all STDS.. this one is just on the "get the word out list" this week.
Ladies get regular check ups and pap tests, even if you have been making healthy choices. I am the first to admit guilt in this area. I have not had one since I had Sophia (who is almost 5yrs old). Believe me.. it is on the top of my to-do list today, find a doctor and make an appointment.
And men.. if you love your wife or future wife, stay faithful NOW. Don't be the bastard that contributes to her getting cervical cancer and possibly contributing to her death.