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This interviewee hits the nail right on the head when she says that HPV can happen to anyone. In fact, HPV happens to 80% of all sexually active people by the age of 50. You read that right: 80%. And that’s just one of the many STIs/STDs that someone can get when they are sexually active.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t be sexually active. In fact, we encourage you to have all of the consensual sexual activity that you desire – you go with your bad self. Rather, we share that statistic because HPV is a likelihood. We also understand that you probably still don’t want to contract low-risk HPV or high-risk HPV, even though most people do contract one of those strains. We get it. However, we’d rather you be informed. Hopefully, the more you know, the less it bums you out, when/if it does happen.
Thank you, interviewee, for sharing your story with our readers so that others will know they are definitely not alone, and it doesn’t have to be the end of the world if you get diagnosed with HPV too.
1. How old are you?
I am 20 years old.
2. What do you do for a living?
I am a licensed cosmetologist. I do hair once in a while, but I currently work at Sally Beauty Supply until I can open my own salon.
3. What type of HPV do you have?
I have low-risk HPV, also known as the Human Papilloma Virus or genital warts.
4. How long have you had or known you have an HPV?
I have known for about 6 months, give or take.
5. Do you know how you contracted HPV?
I contracted HPV through sexual contact with a partner I prefer not to name.
Men are unaware they are carriers, because there are no tests for men, so he would not have known to be able to tell me.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted HPV?
I’ve been very turned off by sex.
I am very careful when I feel I might want to take that step and be active with someone. I have been more worrisome about my health, because there is no treatment for my HPV other than taking care of your body.
7. Do the people who know you have HPV treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
People that I am very close with don’t treat me differently; they’re very sympathetic and caring.
People that don’t know me as well aren’t aware of anything, because I didn’t let anyone else know. This will be my first coming out about having a sexually transmitted infection, even though it’s anonymous, and if someone found out, I think they would treat me differently and say things about me without really knowing my story… It’s to be expected.
8. Are you currently under treatment for HPV? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
There is no real treatment for my form of HPV. I was told that it will go away within 2 years, and that my only real remedy or form of treatment would be to take care of my body, be healthy, and make sure my immune system is functioning the way it’s supposed to.
9. Has having HPV hindered past relationships?
It has caused rifts in certain relationships I’ve had with people, but it made me realize those aren’t people I want in my life. At the same time, this has brought so many relationships closer. It has made people open their eyes and think, if this can happen to my closest friend, it can happen to me. And that’s really what I WANT to happen, I want people to see, if this can happen to someone I know, someone that lives so close to me, it can happen to anyone, and it can happen to me.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has HPV affected your partner?
I am currently in a relationship. Before anything I informed him of my situation, because I would never let someone get involved and go into this blind. I wanted to make sure he was informed, was comfortable with it, and willing to work with me and make me comfortable as well. So far, he’s been so supportive in all that I do.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting HPV whom you did not tell you had an STD/STI?
Absolutely not. I would never put someone through the turmoil that I was put through and risk spreading this to other people.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting HPV?
I am very cautious now with germs, being clean, taking more vitamins, and things to keep my body healthy.
I am still a little uncomfortable about sex. It makes me scared, and sometimes I feel as though I did this to myself, so sex has been difficult to get back into. Basically, I’m turned off from sex, and it’s going to take me a little while to be comfortable with doing it again.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m ready to share my story with my community and my peers. I want people to know, this can happen to ANYONE. I’m not ashamed anymore, and I know people are going to think of me differently and say cruel things, and that’s just how people are. But until it happens to them, they’ll never really know. So if I can save, even ONE girl from contracting something that can possibly change her life forever, then that’ll be satisfying. And I do not care if this is anonymous, because I’m not afraid anymore.
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
- Would you like to share your STD story?