Whether you're nearing college graduation or looking ahead to retirement, we encourage you to talk with a friend about HPV screening as an important tool in cervical cancer prevention. Even women who have had an HPV vaccine, or who are in monogamous relationships with the same long-term partner for many years need to be tested for HPV. HPV screening helps identify women who might be at risk for disease, and there are some types of HPV that put women at higher risk.
A positive HPV result does not necessarily mean you or your partner have been unfaithful, as the virus can stay dormant (latent) for years before an infection is detected. Having HPV is not a reflection on you, your partner or your lifestyle and it isn't something to be ashamed or afraid of. The majority of men and women with a healthy, active sex life will be exposed at some point, and may never know it. In most cases, the infection has no symptoms, and usually resolves on its own without causing a problem. However, 10-15 percent of women will test positive for HPV, and of those, some may develop cervical disease if an HPV infection is left undetected and untreated.
We now have the power to dispel the myth and confusion. By sharing our personal stories, we can empower women with the knowledge they need to protect their cervical health.