Office Visits with Dr. V

Episode 4: I have HPV and you do too!

December 11, 2020

Human Papilloma Virus. What is it? Why do I have it? Take a breath, relax, and learn how it can affect you and what you can do about it.

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01:17 - While it might be a new term to most men, a lot, if not all women know what HPV is. HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus, a common STI with Dr. V confirming that a staggering 80% of adults will get HPV at some point in their life. Dr. V goes on to address the infidelity issue concerning HPV. Since HPV is known to reactivate itself even after treatment, a partner’s infidelity should not be judged primarily through an HPV infection. 

 

04:02 - Just like every other STD, the only way to contract HPV is by coming into physical contact with an infected person or through sex. Condoms are usually a recommended prevention measure, but as you might probably know, they are usually not 100% effective. 

 

04:40 - Dr. V stresses that cervical cancer from HPV is preventable. A point to note about cervical cancer is that it takes years before the infection can become cancerous. As earlier mentioned, condoms are not very effective in preventing HPV, so Dr. V emphasizes the need for abstinence and faithfulness. Although those two measures are easier said than done, they are the surest way to protect yourself against HPV. 

 

07:19 - The past few years have witnessed a decrease in the number of patients coming down with HPV. This is because the HPV vaccine launched a couple of years ago is proving to be effective. The vaccine is so effective that the cut off age to get the vaccine has increased to 45 years. 

 

08:21 - Unless advised by a professional doctor, pap smears should be started at 21 years of age. This is because, at 21, most women are usually sexually active. Since the body can naturally deal with foreign materials in your body in a 1-year time frame, many doctors are advising their patients to get pap smears every 3 years. Disclaimer: Every patient is different and should consult with their doctor about any changes in their health care plan.

 

10:41 - Most cancerous cells can be easily dealt with if detected early enough, and the same is true for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer cells take years before eventually becoming cancerous so Dr. V advises her patients to look out for signs such as pre-cancerous cells which can be easily dealt with if detected early enough. In severe cases, medics might be forced to remove your uterus and the cervix, but you’ll still need to get a pap smear every three years to prevent any reactivation of the HPV cells. 

 

12:17 - Although warts are usually highly infectious, Dr. V admits that she rarely meets patients suffering from warts. However, that doesn’t mean that warts aren’t real. The good news is that warts are easily treatable, and patients have been known to be feeling better in no time. 

 

13:03 - HPV is real, and although a lot of people have it, it’s not a death sentence. Since it might take a couple of years before HPV can cause cancer, it pays to contact your health provider early enough to get the necessary tests done. Dr. V’s message for you today is that you need to free yourself from anxiety and worry about HPV. You are not alone, there is help. 

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