Should We Talk About HPV?

People are asking “What are the symptoms of HPV in females?” “What is HPV in females?” “How do you test HPV in women?” “Can you get HPV if you’re not sexually active?” These are legitimate questions, but the real question is “Where did this epidemic come from?” All of a sudden I’m witnessing these commercials on television about HPV! These children are looking into the camera and asking their parents did they know about HPV. I didn’t know about HPV! How long has it been in existence? Is it something we need to worry about?

The commercial includes males…and one young male says he didn’t know that HPV led to his cancer! What’s happening? In the 80’s we had AIDS and HIV. The careless sexual behaviors and using dirty needles led to the most deadliest disease in history. While the battle was long, emotional and tedious, researchers and scientists have somehow put a lid on the issue and developed sustainable drugs to help victims prolong their lives! I think it’s excellent!

However, my concern is turned toward this HPV. Human Papillomavirus, according the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the most common STD in the United States and can be prevented with vaccines! Great news, right? But, get this: the CDC recommends that 11 to 12 year olds get the vaccine. At 11 and 12, I was not worried about a STD.

I’m going to break it down to you as I researched and read up on HPV. I hope this helps.

HPV is common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI – no more STD…it’s an infection). Anyone who is sexually active can contract HPV. There are different strains of the infection that can lead to genital warts and cancers; however, as I stated earlier, there is a vaccine to prevent all of this. It spreads through sexual contact (we’ll use our vivid imagination here, but realize that whatever sexual act you prefer, you can get HPV).

HPV and the link to cancer: It depends upon the health of the person, but again, you never know, HPV can lead to cancer in the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. It can also occur in the throat. The CDC recommends the vaccination beginning at 11 and 12 (for males and females); and women ages 21 to 65 get screened cervical cancer. The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men too.

The CDC also states that using a condom lowers the risk, but there is chance that you can still get HPV and being in a monogamous relationship helps to decrease the chance of contracting HPV.

OK. So my public service announcement is over. There are some things I’d like to say right now, and since it is my blog, I’m going to say it!

People, stop being so nasty! Now, before you get crazy and start commenting that I’m not being fair…stop and listen to me! When it comes down to sex, humans have lost their minds! We are driven by lust of the body…the satisfaction of having the embrace of another body in our arms! It’s a part of life…yes it is…but somehow this HPV and other sexual infections come from people who are not willing to give their bodies a break from sex!

Making love is a beautiful act! The responsibility behind it is unknown to a lot of people, especially teens! Now we are treated pre-teens for a sexually transmitted disease – oh excuse me – infection! Along with the childhood vaccinations, the HPV vaccination is on the list! This is what angers me!

I hope you’re hearing what I’m saying.

We have lawmakers in Washington D.C. who are trying to reshape healthcare in America and we have these issues of HPV affecting children! Children!  Here are some facts for those of you who need facts:

  • 79 million of Americans are infected with HPV
  • 14 million people become infected with HPV every year
  • 17, 600 women and 9,300 men have cancer as an effect from HPV
    • CDC, 2017

These are the numbers reported to health care facilities, but think about those people who do not go to the doctor to get medical care. There are probably more infected people than we know about.

My worry (and I said this freely, granted I’m not a parent) is that parents are allowing their young daughters to take birth control, giving them permission to sleep around and young men are so ill-informed about birth control that they believe “Oh, I don’t have to wear a condom.” The first thing we worry about is the fact that the girl, who has a promised future, will get pregnant. OK. That’s a problem. But, a worse problem is the girl getting pregnant and having HPV.

With sex comes great responsibility.

Perhaps I’m naive in my 50s, but, I have little nephews and a niece growing up in this society. They are all under 11. I watch them play and have fun. I watch them laugh and run around. I look into their innocent faces and see the wonder in their eyes – and now I can see their pediatricians tell their parents during vaccination season, “OK. Now they need a vaccination for HPV…you know that sexually transmitted infection.”

So, that’s why I say “Stop being nasty!” Let’s be real…having sex with everybody does not make you look more desirable. It makes you look desperate and stupid.

I don’t know what else to say about this. I just want to spread the word about HPV.

And, thanks to the CDC for helping me with this blog. If you need to read it for yourself go to:


Author: L.S. Watson

Hi. My name is L.S. Watson, and I'm an English teacher at a charter high school. I enjoy traveling (my favorite places are Rome and Paris), writing poetry, and watching documentaries. I have a lovable yet stubborn Yorkie-Poo named Chuy.

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