Did you know January is Cervical Health Awareness Month? You didn’t? Me either, until a few weeks ago. And I’m a sexologist. Anywho, in light of Cervical Health Awareness Month, I thought I’d write about this biggest threat to cervical health – Cervical Cancer!
Cervical cancer is caused by a particular strain of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. Ever heard of it? If you were alive in the early to mid – 2000s you may recall a series of commercials with young women expressing their desire to be “one less…” girl with HPV that is. The commercials were rather catching. I still remember them to this day. There are approximately 100 types of HPV. However, only about 40 of them effect the genitals. There are high risk types of HPV that may lead to cervical cancer and low risk types that may lead to genital warts.
I’ve written about the topic of HPV in 2 previous articles. The first is, Michael Douglas Got Oral Cancer From Doing What!?!. This article covers the basics of HPV, while the second article, Keepin’ it Safe ‘n Sexy with HPV Vaccines discusses the benefits of getting vaccinated for HPV. Given the angle of previous articles, this one is going to be a short and sweet plug for a well-written account of how one young woman was diagnosed with a high-risk type og HPV. Losing it:The semi-scandalous story of an ex-virgin by Danielle Sepulveres is a great read for anyone wondering what it is like to be young and in love, trying to make sexual decisions for the first time. Unfortunately, while Danielle made some great decisions she made one decision that had a lasting impact and resulted in an HPV diagnosis. In “Losing it,” Sepulveres takes the reader on a lightly edited journey of what it is was like for her to learn that she has tested positive for HPV – a high risk type at that. She shares the uneasy experience of telling her partner only to realize that for some strange reason she was more concerned about his feelings than he was about hers or the fact that he’d given her HPV.
While there are a few inaccuracies such as what a colposcopy procedure entails, the book is great given the intent and purpose. I highly recommend this book to any young people who are considering sexual activity or whom already are experiencing the world of sexual pleasure. I recommend it so much that I’m actually assigning a chapter for my students to read. Until next Saturday….