In April of 2005, I was diagnosed with HPV. My OB/GYN was shocked because she never thought it possible or a concern for a lesbian. I know, find a new OB/GYN...but this is quite common in the medical fields thinking as I discovered online as well. As a result, it did turn out to be pre-cancer and a procedure (LEEP) was required. My follow up went well but I do have a lump in my throat for next time.
Anyway, any article you read regarding HPV refers to STD between a man and a woman. It could be the simple arrogance of the exclusion of the gay/les population (as usual) but this time it's more than likely just ignorance that causes it. I've never been with a man and according to online documentation, HPV could lay dormant for a few years while developing into the cancerous cells, finally making an appearance for a pap.
Below are some links to articles. I've pulled out the highlights to check out :
Woman's (Lesbian) Health
- Human papillomavirus causes the sexually transmitted disease genital HPV infection.
- More than 100 strains are included in the group of viruses named human papillomavirus.
- Around 20 million people are infected with genital HPV infection.
- Among sexually active men and women, at least 50 percent will acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
- Genital HPV infection is most often spread through genital contact.
- Most HPV infections occur without signs or symptoms, making infected people oblivious to the fact that they carry the virus. The majority of people with genital HPV infections show no symptoms, making it easy for an infected person to unknowingly transmit the virus to a sexual partner. In most cases, a health professional will use a Pap test to diagnose the virus.
- HPV is related to cervical cancer and pre-cancerous changes that are detected with a Pap test. All types of genital HPV infections will result in mild Pap test abnormalities, which do not have serious consequences.
- Cervical cancer can develop in around 10 of the 30 identified genital HPV types.
- Lesbian sex is generally considered low risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but research shows that HPV can be spread between women.
- Recent studies suggest that HPV is more common among lesbians than previously thought, and is as likely to affect lesbians who have never had sex with a man as those who have.
Now you know...please pass it on.