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Home Personal Perspectives Personal Perspectives I had never heard of the disease . . .

I had never heard of the disease . . .

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At age nineteen I had my first abnormal Pap test results and, being young, I ignored it and went on my way. Finally at age 23 (4 years ago) I went to my clinic and was diagnosed with cervical cell changes related to HPV. I was given the choice of being treated right away, or returning for follow-up exams and biopsies every six months. I chose to take the watchful waiting approach with the frequent biopsies, and after about a year and a half I finally had a normal Pap test again.

When I was diagnosed with HPV, I had never heard of the disease and it's amazing now to see how much awareness has been spread about the infection and diseases it can cause. I’ve learned there HPV is common and I have to say, it’s comforting to me just knowing there are so many other people in a situation similar to mine!

You’re correct in that HPV is common, and virtually all sexually active people are thought to contract the virus at some point in their lifetime. It’s common to have HPV, then; the difference between you and most others is simply that you have a diagnosis! Most cases of HPV are never detected and are cleared naturally by the immune system – ed.