Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
The STD Project’s next interview deals with HPV or the Human Papillomavirus and will be a two part story – part one from the individual herself and part two from the person who loves her (his HPV submission).
Thank you, both , for triumphantly sharing your story….
1. How old are you?
28 years old
2. What do you do for a living?
I work as a customer service rep at a local company.
3. What STD do you have/have you had?
I was diagnosed with HPV in December of 2010.
4. How long have you had or known you have an STD?
I found out in November, but didn’t garnish the courage to sit down and have testing to know 100% certain until the following month.
5. Do you know how you contracted this STD?
My then fiancé had a second fiancé. When she advised me of their relationship, she also disclosed she currently had cervical cancer that was a result of the HPV.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STD?
At first, I experienced a ton of shame.
How this could happen to me, the church going, engaged girl… After that, it was going through testing, which happened after a month of counseling for courage garnishing. I received a dose of antibiotics and a vaccine that is supposed to help prevent the HPV from becoming a cancer issue.
7. Do the people who know you have an STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
There are very few people I ever confided with about this. I met someone 6 months after leaving my ex, and I told him.
I don’t share much; at the same time, it’s not something to be ashamed of. I’ve come to terms in the last few years that it isn’t something that defines me, much like an ailment, I didn’t choose to have it in my life, but it doesn’t make me a good or a bad person.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STD? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
No, I have testing every 6 months for cervical cancer, because I come from a high risk family for cancer period.
9. Has having an STD hindered past relationships?
Definitely not, my husband is a big part of accepting myself and this…as not being something shame related.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD affected your partner?
Yes; I am married, to someone other than who gave me the STD.
I told him about it before we even began dating, he was well aware of it and wasn’t in the least worried.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STD whom you did not tell you had an STD?
While men are not affected by HPV, generally, it is something they can pass to other woman, I never wanted someone else to be blindsided the way I was.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STD?
I’ve never been a judgmental person; I think it has helped me to be more accepting of things I cannot control in life.
It helped me come to terms with the fact that I cannot fix and change the past, I can only give my best today.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with The STD Project?
I feel like there is a large boulder placed on anyone with an STD.
It’s a joke in high schools, work places and TV.
Part of the reason many people don’t share is because we are worried someone will judge us, which… isn’t fair, in the least.
This wasn’t because I was young and dumb, it was because I was in love and unsuspecting and can tell you, STD’s don’t choose who they affect. You can be rich, poor, think you only have one partner, or be swinging from the lamp shades with others. It’s not a selection process.
I think that the world needs to come to terms with that, no one wants to have health issues or be looked at differently.
Did you have a similar experience? How did this interview affect you and your opinion of yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!