Bit of a 'too much information' question so I apologise in advance.. I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on this. I was given a HPV positive result with moderate cell changes almost a year ago and have refused to get close to anybody since.
Can HPV affect a man?
Can I pass this on to somebody?
Do you open up about it?
Thank you in advance.
My brief answers to your questions in order are:
Yes, many of us have done so
Up to you
To give some perspective; every year tens of thousands of women in the UK will get a HPV positive result. 90% of HPV infections clear within the first 2 years so it's very possible you don't have HPV anymore. I think a good way to look at it is that having a positive result means you will be closely monitored for cervical cell changes and thereby get prompt treatment if required which means your chances of ending up with cervical cancer are less than before when we weren't routinely tested for the virus.
Getting a HPV positive result is knowledge and that of course means power - the power to reduce your risk for cervical cancer by continuing to follow medical advice about cervical screening and treatment if required. But it really isn't worth putting your life on hold by refusing to get close to anyone.
Since my cc diagnosis I do a lot of awareness raising about cervical cancer and I am often pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback I get. Many women are so pleased to have the chance to understand more about cervical screening and HPV etc. You don't have to but as Covid lockdown eases you might want to consider raising awareness - one simple way is to put Jo's information (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/shop/information) maybe on a noticeboard where you work, socialise, study etc and you might find some interesting conversations start. When I started my awareness raising I found quite a few women told me about their abnormal screening results and/or treatments which helped me come more to terms with my own diagnosis. I realised that one of the problems with our feelings around abnormal results is we just don't talk about cervical screening//HPV/abnormalities enough.
Thank you! That was helpful xxx