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Me and HPV

| 13 Comments

            I recalled quite vividly the first time I had something going on with my bum, or as we say in America, my butt, my rump shaker, my donkey donk! You get my drift. After each bowel movement I would have this pain like someone threw gasoline back there and lit it with a light. So after a week of this happening I decided to self-diagnosis myself. I have to say that this was a time when I was very sexually active and in a way I thought maybe it was an after effect of the encounters. There's a joke in there somewhere.

            But after a week and going on two I told myself it was no longer funny that something must be going on. Even the shape of my bowel movements started to take on this Picasso type shape. I didn't immediately run to my HIV doctor as I didn't think there were any relations. Also quite frankly at the time even though I was comfortable with my doctor, there was still a hesitant part about me that didn't like to discuss my sex life? Was it because I was feeling guilty of having several sexual partners and the stigma of being classified as a slut? It was something that held me back as I didn't go to him and instead self diagnosed myself.

            Doing my own examination I felt several small bumps and one medium sized one. I was relived as I told myself that it was nothing but hemorrhoids. This was an easy fix of just going down to the pharmacy and getting some over the counter cream. So after spending 5.60 and a slightly embarrassing purchase at the check out counter I followed the instructions and waited for the pain to go away. And I waited. And I waited. But the pain never went anywhere. In fact the bumps started to feel bigger. Perhaps my underwear was too tight and my rear couldn't breathe. I was my own Doogie Howser MD.

            The funny thing about having HIV for years is that you get used to pain, whether it's being pricked by a needle or certain parts of your body hurting. And in that familiarity you simply bear the pain until it passes. I was trying to do the same. In fact I lived several months with the pain as I just psyched myself up whenever I knew I was going to have a bowel movement. But when the blood starting to make a daily visit I knew I couldn't pretend something wasn't wrong any longer.

            The doctor told me right away what it was. HPV, or spelled out in its entirety commonly known as Genital Human Papillomavirus. Damn what is it about these acronyms that only I seem to get. What little I knew about it I just assumed it was something that only females get. Upon further explanation by my doctor he explained it's not another gay disease but can affect those who have multiple partners and/or weakened immune systems. And also it's not something that just shows up in the anus but in the genital areas. The tricky thing about finding out if you have it, especially if you're a man is to just have a doctor do an anus Pap test as although there are tests for women currently there is not one for men.

            The crazy thing was that I probably had it for a while as according to information about HPV most men don't develop symptoms or health problems. According to the CDC, "Since HPV usually causes no symptoms, most men and women can get HPV--and pass it on--without realizing it. People can have HPV even if years have passed since they had sex. Even men with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV". So my highly sexual active lifestyle was not the reason as again it states even having one partner doesn't make you immune. In other words, if you're sitting on a high horse because you have only one partner, still check it boo!

            But what do you look for? The following are things to look for:

·  Genital warts:

  • These will appear on the groin, thighs, penis, scrotum, or anus.
  • The wart may look like a lump, be flat, or have a cauliflower-shape.
  • Warts can appear a few weeks after contact with an infected person.
  • The warts may appear singularly or in clusters.

·  Anal cancer:

  • Bleeding, pain, or itching of the anus.
  • Discharge from the anus.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin area.
  • Unusual bowel movements or a change in shape of your fecal matter.

      I had my bumps removed with a quick in and out procedure. They returned a year later but since my last treatment nothing has returned. It still is recommended to make this a yearly endeavor and after my experience with HPV I have no problem being preventive. If anything HPV reminds me is that there are other STD's out there besides HIV and it's all about protection. And although we want to pretend we know more than the doctors, waiting until something gets to a bad state are not good. And that's information you can sit on!   

 

13 Comments

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Comments on Aundaray Guess's blog entry "Me and HPV"

Castor oil. Works well for small warts. 2-4 weeks apply 2-3 times a day and they disappear. Works especially well on the penis and testicles.

Hey Aundaray.

Im loving this post due to the fact that you can add humor to factual knowledge. I see that I can learn a lot from you and hope to hear more from you in the future. I am glad that you got that lil issue cleared up, controlled and keeping it moving on... Continue to keep me laughing and informed.

LALA

Hey sounds like a good fix and hopefully I won't be in a place where I need to use it but like I stated in the piece, when it comes to your health, we have to stop playing doctor and go see the doctor!

You should also ask your doctor about vaccination to prevent HPV diseases. There are currently two commercially available vaccines. They can be expensive. Are generally limited to teens and early twenties. Have limited effectiveness in older people. Can also prevent oral infections. There are numerous strains of HPV. Infection with one does not prevent the vaccine from diminishing the risk of infection from other types. Being HIV positive does not exclude a person from choosing vaccination as prevention. Also, readers should be warned that condoms do not completely eliminate risk of contracting HPV infections. But it does greatly diminish risk.

Hi there. Really glad to see more people talking openly about their experience with HPV. I've been publishing details of my experience with it (and of my sexual history) for a couple years now.

Just thought I'd mention that you might want to make a note that it is skin-to-skin transmissible, even in apparently asymptomatic carriers. A condom can prevent it sometimes, but it is not a guarantee of protection. HPV is also suspected to have something to do with certain throat cancers and penile cancers, and is a known link to many kinds of cervical cancer. In fact, HPV's link to cervical cancer has been known about for about 70 years, as the pap smear was engineered entirely as a means of testing for HPV in women and detecting changes in the cervical cells that lead to cancer if untreated.

Thanks for the great blog post!

Thanks Jamie and Itsimple
I love the additional advice people are providing because it's not talked about and they bring up some valuable points and information that was not covered in the blog.

Thank you for sharing this. HIV + people need to pay attention back there & if something doesn't seem right have their doctor check it out. I had a similar problem in the spring of 2008 and caught early stage Anal Cancer.

It was a lucky break in that it wasn't very bad, but still qualified for minor surgery, chemo & radiation. While none of want to go through this, looking back after being cancer free for almost five years I'm glad I found it earlier because the treatment & residual side effects are minimal.

If something doesn't seem right...Don't mess around tooo long & have your doctor check it out on your next visit.

I just went through hell trying to get rid of them on my penis. After months of liquid nitrogen and then TCA treatment I got the Gardasil shot and started the Aldara treatment. In three weeks (I have no idea if it was the gardasil shot, the aldara or my immune system recovering) they cleared quite nicely. Now the HPV shot isn't suppose to work in people already exposed to the virus but it can protect future infections so I took it anyways. The Aldara cream is suppose to be less effective in people with HIV infection but I tried it anyways. I don't know if it was the combination of both but whatever it was it worked beautifully. Also, they say Aldara on averages takes 8 weeks to clear up warts, in my case like I said it was three. If anyone decides to use the Aldara be careful how you apply it. That stuff is strong and can damage healthy skin. Follow your doctors instructions.

Even if you have HPV, it is a good idea to get the Vaccine as it will stop the outbreaks of warts. I had the HPV surgery 3 times and it still returned & was considered the main reason behind (no pun intended) my rectal cancer. After double Chemo & Radiation I am cancer free. The vaccine is available to girls free in most states & Canada, but it should be available free to the boys too as it increases the risk for numerous cancers in men & women. If there was a vaccine available back then I would have got it, but still got it as it was recommended. My advice is don't think twice and get it if you can.

A big thanks you to Aundaray for sharing your story!!!
I was so ashamed of my genital warts and even more ashamed to tell the people who I’d been sexually active that I had the HPV virus. BTW, I INSISTED ON A CONDOM EVERYTIME!!!! This virus can still be contracted by skin to skin contact. I was diagnosed with High Risk of HPV, the strands that cause cancer. I had laser surgery 7 years ago and i do colposcopy every 6 months. In 2012 my genital warts came back, I'll be going for another surgery in a week. I'm glad to know that i can still get HPV vaccine. I will talk to my doctor about it.
I'm nervous as hell, i can still remember how painful it was.

I think more people need to know about this. Much Love!

this is for Randall I am going through the same thing I too have have to go through IRC for my anus. And let me tell you it is no fun. This is my second IRC. I just hate to go through this it is pain when you go to the bathroom. So I like to know from you how long did you let it go before you had Chemo & Radiation ? I ask about that and was told that I was not that bad off. Even though I do not have rectal cancer I am trying to stop it before it get to that stage. So when you had your chemo did you find out that you had rectal cancer? Because I was told that they can do as many surgerys that they can I just don't want to go through all that pain. And I thought that once you got a certain age that you can not tkae the Gardasil? thanks for any help

Hpv-Genital warts are ugly looking I can't stand the way they look. But those bastards do eventually disappear on there own. Mine went away on it's own but I also used stuff like oregano oil and teatree to help the process go faster.

Thank you, Aundaray, for an important column about an issue that remains inadequately addressed.

The comments made me curious about how common it is for adults who have already had HPV to get vaccinated.

The CDC website says it is recommended up to age 26 for gay/bi or immune-compromised men, but I know some doctors are recommending it for older men as well.

Is there a point (in terms of age, or medical history) at which it is known to be no longer effective?

I don't know the answer to that, but perhaps someone can enlighten us.

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This page contains a single entry by Aundaray Guess published on December 12, 2012 3:40 PM.

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