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Human papillomavirus

Something we don't talk about, but we should

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Something we don't talk about, but we should

I've been an anxious mess recently, because I was awaiting my annual gynecology appointment. Usually, these don't cause me days of anxiety before and after, but this time was different. A year ago, I was diagnosed with HPV, which 50% of sexually active people have. I had no symptoms (which is common), but still I was surprised. When the nurse called to tell me, I was a wreck--mostly because of how she communicated the results to me. She was extremely blaming. I had asked her how this could have happened. I did "everything right"--I got the three rounds of Gardasil shots, I always practiced safe sex, so what the hell? The nurse then told me, "Well, the only way you can't get it is by practicing abstinence." This really pissed me off, because obviously I hadn't been abstinent, and was not intending to be. I remember thinking, "Who the hell am I talking to? Someone from a right wing crisis pregnancy center?" I was told to come back for a colposcopy.

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