Thursday’s Thousand Thoughts by Bri is a creative writing series that follows my thoughts for a thousand seconds every Thursday. I intend to create a structured writing time and allow my friends on Bri Cuz, I Said So to read my ideas and share theirs on concepts presented in each post. Feel free to share how this post made you feel, what parts stood out to you, your take on the topic, etc. Let’s enlighten each other with new perspectives and learn something new.
Lately, I’ve been seeing some interesting commercials on Snapchat about HPV and decided to get more educated on the virus myself. Despite society’s shame, I’ll admit to having tested positive for HPV at one point in my life. I was afraid, ashamed, and altogether uneducated. In my preteens I recall getting the Gardisil shot my doctor went on and on about, that was supposed to prevent this very thing from happening. And still, it happened. I had no symptoms, no warts, and no clue what having HPV even meant for me (aside from the doctor explaining it isn’t lifelong except in certain cases when it is). Around the world, women like me knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly, are walking around with HPV and not a clue what it even means.
What is HPV?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HPV or Human Papilloma Virus is the most sexually transmitted infection (STI). Under most circumstances, the virus goes away on its own with no symptoms. In cases where the virus remains present, genital warts and cancerous cells may also form. Unfortunately, while men are often carriers there is no current way to be tested. All in all, there is no approved test for HPV and the ones around are usually one recommended to women over 30. The CDC further explains, unfortunately, one of the few ways to discover the presence of this virus is the onset of symptoms or an abnormal pap test.
The Snapchat ad I mentioned before, #UnfollowHPV unfortunately had limited background information and the website seems to only mention tips on vaccinations. A vaccination may be a good idea for some, but what about those already affected? Well, there’s some stuff you should know! One of the most reliable resources I’ve come across is Ask the Experts; your questions answered directly by healthcare professionals.
While my minutes run down, I’d like to use my last few moments to remind you that it’s okay to ask for help. Your mental, sexual, physical, and emotional health is important and the time you take to tend to these matters is valid. The stigma that follows the taboos of sexual health like STD’s and burning urination is made up by society and means shit next to the importance of your sexual health. Maybe it’s not the conversation you want to be having, but being honest with a healthcare worker about your sexual health is extremely important. Not only do you need good health to keep on pushing, but good sex organs = good sex(;
I’m no expert and you should definitely seeking medical attention as soon as things start feeling funky with your junk.
thursday thought: spend time learning about and connecting with your body.
until next time, xo Bri