Real People Stories – Liam

I have always been a man attentive to his health. Every six months, I undergo STD and HPV screenings, use condoms, exercise, and maintain regular visits with my doctor. Hence, it was difficult for me to understand what was happening. This ordeal unfolded six years ago when I was 28 years old and unattached. It began with the discovery of some warts around my penis, prompting me to seek guidance from two different doctors.

Initially, both professionals reassured me, asserting that the warts would naturally disappear. However, as time elapsed, more warts surfaced, leading me to press for a more definitive explanation. Eventually, they prescribed a cream, yet despite consistent application, the warts persisted, even after shaving.

Seeking Knowledge: Consultations and Discoveries

Determined to better understand my condition, I embarked on a quest for knowledge, seeking consultations at Profamilia and a reputable urology institute in Cali. These consultations came at a significant cost but proved invaluable in expanding my understanding. I discovered from an HPV Test that transmission could occur even with condom use and that one might contract the infection during their first sexual encounter. Furthermore, the infection could lay dormant for years or emerge due to a weakened immune system.

Contending with a high proliferation of warts was aesthetically displeasing and frustrating due to the absence of information available. Adult-focused campaigns were conspicuously absent, with most initiatives targeting adolescents.

Eventually, my HPV doctor prescribed cryo-cauterization treatment, involving several painful sessions over six gruelling months. The journey, encompassing diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring, spanned two arduous years. I was taken aback by the scarcity of resources tailored to men, particularly concerning how we can unknowingly continue to spread the infection.

The Need for Open Dialogues

This realization prompted me to broach the STD topic with my friends, and to my surprise, some confessed to having experienced similar struggles, albeit without much concern. Yet, amidst these discussions, it became apparent that men seldom engage in open dialogues regarding reproductive health issues.

I am convinced that men need to foster more open conversations about such matters, transcending mere discussions of sexual encounters and delving into the broader spectrum of reproductive health concerns.


I am deeply affected by the experience of gynaecological violence

At the end of 2019, due to the appearance of condylomas, I went to a gynaecology appointment.

I sought medical assistance upon discovering condylomas and underwent cauterization treatment to address them. However, when I broached the topic of HPV diagnosis with the doctor, her response was unsettling. She seemed dismissive, even questioning the severity of my concerns by implying that cancer was a trivial matter.

Feeling deeply unsettled by her reaction, I could not pursue further inquiries or seek clarification. Though my mother attempted to provide solace, we both grappled with confusion and inadequacy regarding the situation.

Amidst the backdrop of the pandemic, I hesitated to revisit the doctor for some time. However, after mustering the courage to seek further medical attention, I secured an appointment with a gynaecologist. The intervening period was fraught with anxiety, exacerbated by the revelation that the strain of HPV I harboured was classified as high risk.


I underwent numerous crises, overwhelmed by the fear of cancer and enduring days fraught with immense anguish. On the day of my appointment, the demeanour of the treating doctor exacerbated my distress. She mentioned the necessity of a colposcopy but offered scant details about the procedure. Moreover, she attributed my HPV diagnosis solely to unprotected intercourse, disregarding the potential for transmission even with condom use, despite my attempts to clarify. Her comments on my sexual history verged on blame, intensifying my feelings of shame and inadequacy.

Gradually, I found myself unable to articulate my HPV concerns or ask further questions, overcome with a desire to escape. Exiting the office, tears streamed down my face as I walked, overwhelmed by despair. However, my experience at the latest STD clinic, where I eventually underwent the colposcopy, was markedly different. The attending doctor displayed compassion, explaining each step and reassuring me throughout the procedure. This unexpected display of kindness moved me deeply; tears flowed as I expressed gratitude.

The ordeal of enduring gynaecological mistreatment deeply pains me, underscoring the prevalence of such experiences. I believe it’s crucial to foster open dialogue surrounding this HPV issue, providing support and solidarity to those who have endured similar ordeals.

Grace – This is my story

I have thought about opening this talk so that those of us who suffer from this disease can let off steam. And with our stories be able to help those who need it and, in the process, not feel strange or different.

In October of last year, I met a boy much older than me. He was 20 years old, and I was 16. From the moment we met, we did not stop talking or being together. I remember that he made me very happy, and I always thought that someday, maybe we could become a stable couple since neither he nor I wanted anything serious.

Long before being with him, in the summer, I broke up with the boy I had been with for more than a year and with whom I made love for the first time.

But this second boy made me fantasize about falling in love again because everything was perfect with him, which led me to ruin.

A Fateful Evening: Dinner and Intimacy

One day in December, he came to look for me and took me to dinner at his house. We ended up having sex, and that was the first time. I thought that everything would get better from then on, and nothing bad could happen, but that was not the case. We grew apart; he stopped calling and talking, and I didn’t go after him.

What I didn’t know was that no matter how much we separated, something united me with him, and it was the HPV that he gave me that day.

Until April, I didn’t realize that something bad was happening to me. And I still remember the day I saw those warts for the first time. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared. I talked to my mother, and I went to the doctor two days later. To my surprise was an STD. Of course, you can’t trust appearances. Even the most handsome of all may have an STD, and not even using a condom can you escape these diseases. I did use it that day but it didn’t help me at all…

Treatment Journey: Confronting the diseases

In the end, My doctor prescribed me a cream that burned them off in a month, and today, they have almost completely disappeared; I say almost because I did the treatment twice due to two warts that resisted, but I am 90% healthy. Furthermore, when I was 14 years old, I got the vaccine against cervical HPV and other cancers, but not warts, so my STD is only on the outside; it’s just damn warts.
At the hospital, they told me that they could reappear for up to 2 or 3 years, and considering that I am 16 years old, it is very hard; the truth is, things do not assimilate so well when you are a teenager and even more so when he was the SECOND boy I slept with. Having an STD does not mean being promiscuous or not taking care of yourself; that is not always the case.

Finding Healing and Moving Forward

But let’s say that I have learned to live with it over time and no longer cry. It is best to carry it with positivity because otherwise… you are lost.

It should also be said that the boy who infected me with HPV has a girlfriend now, and I didn’t tell him anything out of fear. But I already told him that I had to tell him something important, and that is that I think he has no idea that he is giving HPV to people, and I am very afraid of how he will respond when I tell him all this in person…

I hope he is understanding with me. Because since this happened to me it seems that good things can’t happen. But little by little, she is getting out of the HPV hole alone, but she is getting out. So, if you are truly experiencing something like this, I tell you it is not the end of the world. You should smile. Lead a healthy life that cures all STD ills and well. Let off steam if you need it here.

Many kisses and good luck to all.