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Author Topic: HPV and HIV  (Read 4636 times)

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Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
« on: April 22, 2008, 10:04:25 AM »
I have said this to a few people today in person and in email and on my blog - so I thought I may as well write this here!

Sorry that I am repeating myself all over the Internet - but the difference in how the virus HPV is regarded in terms of social stigma and how it is not marginalised or stigmatised at all in the UK but women with HIV are treated in mainstream National Health Provision is for me a startling revelation .

As both HPV and HIV is sexually acquired and in the same way - for women at least - as HIV and can also lead to a fatal  illness - yet THERE IS NO STIGMA!!

As for me it just proves how 'random' and unjustified the stigma against HIV is - and confirms to me how much this stigma about HIV HAS to stop

It seems a very important point to me right now. But I am sure you have al thought of this before - sorry!!

It really puzzles me that another, most often sexually transmitted disease - cervical cancer - i.e the more common type of cervical cancer - is not stigmatized while HIV and AIDs is??

Yet Cervical cancer is almost exclusively acquired by catching the virus HPV through sex!!!!!!

Yet HPV is not stigmatized like HIV in the same way at all!!.

Just as catching the HIV virus can lead to AIDs if not caught early and treated early, so can HPV lead to cervical cancer and this can often be fatal too -especially if not caught early!!

If you do not acquire HPV- which is exclusively acquired through sex - you simply do not ever develop the most common type of cervical cancer ( the other is rare) . And exactly like HIV the chances of getting HPV is higher if you:

have sex at an early age,
have many sexual partners
have a partner who has had many sex partners
have sex with uncircumcised males


If you are a woman this is exactly the same for HIV too!!
Yet no one stigmatizes a woman with cervical cancer!!

In fact far from it !!

They have been giving women cervical smears for years just in their own doctors surgery for cancerous changes caused by the HPV virus and they have now rolled out a program of immunization in Britain against the HPV virus for girls between 12 - 13 before they are sexually active - in recognition that they only get HPV from sexual activity!! And to try to stop women getting it at all

( I understand you can not immunize against HIV, but you could test routinely so that all people with HIV got treatment early as possible - as early treatment vastly increases your chances of a 'normal' lifespan)

To me it does not make any sense!!I want to make HIV as little stigmatized as cervical cancer!! And improve the recognition and treatment

Ironically I do not have HPV!! I have HIV but not HPV- So I will never get the common cervical cancer!!! But yes as I did get HIV, I could get AIDs

But if I had cervical cancer I would know that I would get nothing but sympathy from everyone and would not fear telling anyone that I have cervical cancer

( or even a bad smear test result, and a bad smear test result means that I have caught HPV though my sexual activity, but there is no stigma in this!!)

Yet if I get AIDs, I can not be so certain that I will not face stigma and prejudice!!!!

Yet the two are 'acquired' in EXACTLY the same way - there are far more with HPV than with HIV and actually cervical cancer, even in its late stages is a lot more 'curable ' than AIDs

Just a thought!!!!!

I am sure this has occurred to others - but it only occurred to me the last couple of days as ironically I found the results of my last cervical smear - which was of course clear as it always has been all my life!

As I have simply been lucky enough not to have been exposed to the HPV virus. It could of happened just as it has happened to many women, but it did not happen to me !!

But HIV did happen to me, I was simply not 'lucky' with HIV !!

I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline BT65

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  • Posts: 10,785
Re: HPV and HIV
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 10:20:03 AM »
You know, here in the US they have a shot to prevent women getting HPV.  It's only available to a certain age group though, which I can't recall details right now.  I think the cut-off is 27.  There was a huge scuffle about the shot when it came out with the moral majority vs. people wanting the shot.  It was unbelievable.  I live in a very Catholic area and they are extremely verbal in this community.  They had all the strip clubs shut down; but the adult bookstores are still open.  I don't think they should have shut down the strip clubs, but I digress. 

About HPV vs. HIV, well dunno.  The stigma (at least here) has come a long way from what it was in the late 80's-early 90's.  There's a lot of work that needs to be done and still a lot of misinformation.  Again, a strong Catholic area here.  HIV/AIDS speakers still cannot mention the word 'condom' when talking in schools.  Ridiculous.

Here (on these boards) are a lot of strong women.  It's too bad we couldn't all get together and do our own little crusade.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Condom and Lube Info http://www.aidsmap.com/Condoms/page/1044833/
Please check out our lessons on PEP and PrEP. http://www.poz.com/factsheets/fs_2014_09_prep.pdf


Offline ubotts

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
Re: HPV and HIV
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 10:29:46 AM »
To me, the stigma is worse than the disease..

I was at my lovers home for thanksgiving and her family had set the table with beautiful

I noticed there were 2 settings of paper plates and plastic knifes and forks...
I knew they were our seats immediately...

I was so ashamed and pissed off to be treated in that manner, that I wanted to say
Fuck it, and leave, but I had no car and had to wait for another person to drive me and my lover home..
We weren't in upstate NY somewhere in the damn woods, and you just cant call a cab, it would of been very expensive and we for sure, didn't have the moola..

That put a knife in my heart..

When some of my family found out, they were worried about me playing with my nieces and nephews, one of the few things I enjoy in life, and they were taking that away from me as well....

Once again it cut like a knife..

I can deal with the disease, but not the stigma :'(

If I had cancer, yes , everyone would say aww poor thing, lets help her..Having aids or hiv, well you might as well put us all on an island far far away from the ignorant crowds..

They say Ignorance is bliss....Well not in this case....
Ignorance has caused people to commit suicide...
1. by being hiv and around ignorant people and
2. Being gay isn't easy either..

In both cases, at sometime in your life, you have to come out of the closet.

I did in both cases..and I am not sure what was worse..

Now that time has passed my family understands, me being gay and me having hiv...
But it took time for them to accept me for who I am, and what I have done to my life..

I noticed the doctors at the center treating the people with hiv who got it from sex,
differently than the ones who used needles and drugs.

Its like, we did it to ourselves, but the others who got it from sex, were taking care of better than the ex addicts..

I was and felt very strongly about this, so I changed my clinic and I am  loving the way they
treat me there..

There are many gays and many ex addicts....
Now I am accepted...but DAMN it took a long time...

Once again, the point I am trying to make is...

~~~~~~~~~~~~THE STIGMA IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Live Love Laugh and dance like no ones watching.
Laughter is the best medicine, so try to have a laugh everyday..Even if your not feeling your best, think about something that was funny at one time in your life and work with it..   :o)

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: HPV and HIV
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008, 02:01:05 PM »
Yes that is how I feel - I have only known I am HIV for a very short time and I have faced other stigmatised issues in my life before, but this seems to me to be the case that as you say:

~~~~~~~~~~~~THE STIGMA IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You are right.

It is interesting - and upsetting to hear that they treat those women who got this form sex differently from those who got it through drug use. To me this is a virus - and illness - it does not matter how you got it. The virus makes no distinctions but people do.

And I am so sorry ubotts that you have had to face that sort of discrimination/prejudice from your own lovers family and that your family are worried about you playing with your nieces and nephews, and have been so hurt by it. How awlful abotu th eplace settings!  - it would have cut me like a knife too.

 I hope things are better now?

I may have had this reaction from some of my relatives is my older  relatives were still alive - but at my age I am now the 'older' generation in my family and thankfully for me I have had no discrimination from my family.

It is interesting Betty that the shot for HPV in the US goes up to age 27 , as in Britian they are only introducing it now - and it will only go up to age 12 -13 with a possibility of those under 18 getting it in the future. This is because it is only got from sex and they do not feel it is worth he cost to the NHS ( National Health System ) of giving this shot o any woman who may already be sexually active.

I suppose it is good they are going to offer the shot at all in the UK - but my daughter for instance is only 18 but will be too old for it.

Anyway I know that their is no shot against HIV, but their could be more education, testing and awareness - ignorance obviously is not bliss with HIV.

I want to do my little bit to fight the stigma here - where I live in the UK
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/


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