Monday , June 14 2021

The presence of HPV "is not rude or shameful"

Clare BoltonCopyright on the image
Clare Bolton

Image caption

Claire wants to raise awareness of HPV and cervical cancer

The presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) is not rude or shameful and is extremely prevalent, experts say.

It comes as a study of 2000 women showing that there are still nearby around the infection that can be transmitted during sex and is associated with cancer.

Charity is concerned that this could lead women to smear tests.

Although four out of five people get HPV in their lives, many would worry about what their partner might think if they were diagnosed.

Shame, fear and distrust

Nearly half said they would worry about telling their partners.

Half would wonder who gave them to them, and such a number would worry that it meant their partner was untrue.

Copyright on the image
Amanda Blood

Image caption

Amanda needed surgery after the smear test was delayed

28-year-old Amanda Blood has been diagnosed with cervical cancer after postponing the smear test. Her doctors told her she had HPV.

"At first I was very angry with my ex. I had only slept with two people, "she said.

"But when I read more about HPV, I realized that it was actually very common and you should not hold anyone responsible for it."

HPV can be caught by contact with the skin of the skin, which means you do not have to have full sex to be at risk.

Oral sex and intimate touch can also transmit the infection that lives on the skin.

Claire Bolton was 38 years old when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. At that time she never heard of HPV.

"They did not give me any information," she said.

"All I found was what I read about myself on websites and forums, and it was quite shocking to read.

"It's such a common infection, but there's still stigma attached to it, and you're starting to question things.

"I was in a long-term relationship with a person I did not trust then.

"But you can have HPV for years and you do not know that.

"It's very easy to get, so do not worry.

Get the test

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Title of the mediaChloe Delevingne had a test sample of Victoria Derbyshire

Most people will not realize they have HPV because they will not have any symptoms or complications.

Your immune system is usually released from HPV without treatment.

But some strains or types of HPV (there are many different) can cause genital warts. Others are related to cancer.

In the study, one third of women did not know about the relationship with cervical cancer and most did not know that this could cause cancer of the throat and mouth.

Girls now offer a free vaccine to help protect against HPV.

A NHS adds HPV tests to screening for cervical cancer, which means that women will be checked for it when they have a smear.

If they have it, they can have other tests and treatments if they need it to hope to avoid cancer.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 years and less, with some of them having no symptoms.

Myths about HPV

  • Genital warts mean you get cancer – No. Warts are caused by a different type of HPV
  • I did not have much sex so I probably will not have it – Wrong. The presence of HPV is not a sign that someone has slept with many people or cheated on a partner. You can get it during your first sexual intercourse – whether it's touching, penetrating sex, oral sex or sharing sex toys
  • We use condoms so I'm totally protected – Wrong. Using condoms reduces the risk, but not entirely
  • My current partner must give it to me – It is not mandatory. HPV may remain unnoticed in the body for years. This is a very common phenomenon and for most people it will never cause a problem
  • Although the HPV vaccine protects against seven out of ten cases of cervical cancer, it does not offer complete protection. So, even if you had an HPV vaccine, it is very important to attend cervical screening

Robert Muzik, CEO of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, who will talk about the findings of the UK Early Diagnostic Conference study, said: "We have to deal with the level of misunderstandings that exist around HPV.

"Most people will get the virus during their lives, so it's worrying to see such high levels of fear or shame associated with it."

Sara Hyom from Cancer Research UK said: "Removing myths and removing lice around HPV is vital to ensuring that people feel more confident about booking and appearing for appointment to the uterine cervix . "

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