Web Access Things!

Web Access Things!

ALT Text: All images on this page are embedded  with ALT text. Text Size: If you are using Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox and ha...

Monday, 10 April 2017

Vulva is HPV Positive

Image description: one crochet genital of yellow hues is pictured on a white background. Dark brown glass beads located at various spots represent anogenital warts. #vulvais #tulymaimouna #crochet #endstigma

I got my first genital wart last year. I felt a mild burning/itching sensation in my butt and when I looked with a mirror I noticed a small flesh coloured bump that was new to me. Since I regularly check my genitals for any signs of changes, and had seen what warts looked like on another persons genitals it was easy for me to identify.

Human Papilomavirus (HPV) is a very common STI, 70% of the sexually active population in Kanata (Canada) will have at least one HPV infection over their lifetime. There are over 200 types of HPV with different health outcomes.  "Low risk" (rarely cancer causing) type of HPV can lead to anal and/or genitals warts, while "high risk" (carcinogenic - cancer causing) HPV can cause pre-cancerous lesions and cervical or anal cancer. 

Sometimes there are none at all, however anogenital (anal/genital) warts usually they are: bumpy (like cauliflower) or flat, their colour depends on a persons skin tone

Genital skin-to-skin contact with someone who has HPV in their body, e.g barrier free anal, vagina/front and oral sex

Most cases of HPV can be cleared by the body on its own, so treatment depends on what type of HPV is present and the extent of the infection. With anogenital warts sometimes freezing the warts off with liquid nitrogen or laser therapy are options. With mild anogenital cell changes determined by an abnormal anal or cervical pap smear, a "wait and watch" approach along with follow ups to examine the cervix, vagina, external genitalia, or anus for symptoms can be taken. If pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions are present a biopsy could be necessary.

Some prevention options:
Gardasil-9 vaccine protects against 9 types of HPV, internal condoms cover a larger surface area than external condoms, have warts removed, not shaving or having sex while warts are present to avoid spreading them around the genitals. Note: to date there is no routine STI test for anogenital warts.

Please note: The vaccine is administered in two or three doses, and completing the vaccine series takes roughly 9 months. So for the vaccines to be entirely funded the series needs to be completed before you turn 27.

If you live in Ontario "the publicly funded human papiloma virus (HPV) vaccine includes men who have sex with men (MSM) who are 9- 26 years of age or younger and identify as gay, bisexual as well as other MSM - including some trans people."  *I called the AIDS and Sexual Health Info Line to clarify what "some trans people" means and was told there is no qualifying marker for which trans people can access the vaccine.

For more information check out: http://sexualhealthontario.ca/hpv-vaccine-for-eligible-men/
AIDS and Sexual Health Info Line:
Toll free: 1-800-668-2437, Local: 416-392-2437 (available in over 16 languages)
Hours: Monday - Friday 10AM-10:30PM, Saturday & Sunday 11AM- 3PM
Or try their eChat service from Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (in English only)