Danielle Sepulveres, NYC based freelance writer for women's health, pop culture and relationships, Author of "The Semi-Scandalous Story of an Ex-Virgin", HPV #cervivor, and huge baseball fan.
Certain types of high-risk HPV (Human Papillomavirus) are the known cause of almost all cases of cervical cancer. When I tested positive for high-risk HPV, unlike most women, my body didn’t clear it right away, and I was dealing with a diagnosis of cervical pre-cancer. Thankfully, after multiple procedures, my healthcare provider was able to remove the pre-cancerous cells, and my persistent HPV infection was stopped from causing more damage. But along the way, I also experienced the stigma from having this specific diagnosis, and I’m here to say “Let’s end the blame and shame game when it comes to HPV…if it can happen to me, it can happen to you or anyone.” I’m thankful I knew my risk for cervical cancer, before it turned into something more serious.
Personal Story told 2019.
Danielle visits SF, and speaks with Dr. Nathalie Michaud to learn more about biomarker technology, recently approved by the FDA, and how this scientific advancement is being used to further assess risk for cervical disease in women with certain types of abnormal Pap cytology or positive high-risk HPV screening results. This is a new testing option and the additional information can help guide clinical decisions for next steps.
A next generation test, recently FDA-approved, helps women with a positive high-risk HPV result know more, sooner. It's run on the same sample collected for Pap and HPV DNA screening. Biomarker information helps guide important next step clinical decisions, and brings cervical cancer screening into the 21st century.
Good news! There are ways to prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection from turning into cervical cancer. HPV DNA tests are more accurate than the Pap test alone. And screening specifically for high risk HPV types, those that can lead to cervical cancer, is one way to prevent disease from developing. But should you panic if you get a positive HPV test? The answer is no, and know that your situation can vary, depending upon age, screening history, and other factors. It’s always better to know, so you can take the necessary follow-up steps recommended by your healthcare provider.
Since her experience with HPV and cervical pre-cancer, Danielle is an active advocate for patient awareness, education, and a call to eliminate stigma around HPV and cervical cancer. She is the author of the book "Losing It: The Semi-Scandalous Story of an Ex-Virgin," based on her own experience. After receiving an irregular Pap test result and testing positive for high-risk HPV, Danielle was diagnosed with cervical precancer. Danielle describes her confusion, fear and follow up treatment to prevent her disease from progressing. Most recently, Danielle has been vlogging, to reach women around the world with facts about HPV and cervical cancer prevention.
Once you’ve been tested for HPV, it can be difficult to understand what your test results actually mean. We can help.