Real People Stories – Elizabeth

I don’t know if my message is relevant, but I will share my experience. I started with a positive test result for the HPV type-16 virus in my body. I’ve been in shock all day. The word “cancer” is scary in this chain of information. By the way, the STD test doctor did not prescribe any treatment after the test results. The doctor recommended vaccination with Cervarix. Three injections over six months.

According to her, Cervarix protects against other papillomaviruses for 6-7 years and kills HPV16. You live with it quietly and die of old age. Cervarix in some Western countries is included in the mandatory vaccines for young girls from 15 years old. So, during sexual intercourse, you will never receive the papillomavirus as a gift from a passionate lover. But I’ll check this information with other specialists. Otherwise, we know how, in our country (I’m talking about Ukraine), doctors get a percentage cut from advertising the drug. Question: has anyone been vaccinated? And does it put the virus to sleep, and is it inactive? How can this vaccine affect pregnancy in the future?

A case study

From the experience of a sick colleague I know, I have learned the following cases: One seemingly very experienced gynaecologist, upon discovering a virus that caused dysplasia in a pregnant patient, strongly recommended that she have an abortion. In the end, she agreed, cured her dysplasia, and even gave birth later.

In the second case, the woman did not agree to an abortion and, despite having dysplasia, still carried the fetus to term and gave birth. Everything is fine with the baby. However, during pregnancy, dysplasia tends to develop more readily and quickly, and after childbirth, it seems that the woman’s reproductive organs were removed (I am not sure which ones exactly). Conclusion: The main thing is to notice dysplasia early. In any case, consult one or even two more gynaecologists to understand all sides of the issue. I don’t claim to be an STD doctor or advisor; these stories come from conversations with others while waiting at the gynaecologist’s office.


I see a lot of posts about people worried about HPV, and as someone who’s been through it, I just thought I’d share my story. This is therapeutic for me, too. When I was 16, I had my first boyfriend ever. He was 23 years old. We met online when I was 14 and in person a few years later. I won’t go over the details of the relationship because it’s sickening and messed up in its way.

I got HPV from my very first partner at 16. I’m now 26. Life goes on.

But long story short, he was the first person I did anything more than kiss with.

I had never been given a hand job or dry-humped over clothes. We had sex within a week of meeting, and after about two months of regular sex, I noticed a strange off-white growth on my anus. I honestly just convinced myself it was haemorrhoid for a while. I remember trying to sneakily look at my boyfriend’s penis while performing oral sex to see if he had any bumps (that’s how immature I was—I couldn’t even ask to get a good look at this part of his body that I was putting in my mouth).

Then, a short while after the first wart, I noticed two little brown mole-looking growths, one on my labia and another just above it. That’s when I started to worry. I went to my doctor and had my very first STD Pap smear. She told me right away that HPV caused the bumps, which were genital warts. My Pap, of course, came back abnormal; however, she considered it low-grade (thankfully, not a risk for cervical cancer). She made another appointment to have the warts burned off. It was painful, and the healing process was not fun at all. But at least she got rid of the warts.


I can remember feeling like my life was over. I was 16 and had only been sexual with ONE person who claimed to be “clean.” There is no STD cure. How was I ever supposed to be with anyone else? How could I trust anyone to be honest about their sexual health? And what about the people who truly don’t know they have it and pass it on? This diagnosis honestly mortified me for years. I had abnormal Paps every year after that for a long time. The wart on my anus came back once, four years later, which I had burned off again. I will always have scars on my vagina from the other two. I didn’t have another boyfriend until I was 20.

But you know what? Life does go on. You get older and realise that HPV is absurdly common. And if you get warts, you honestly are getting one of the safer strains, as bad as that sounds. I started living a healthier STD lifestyle and improved my immune system, and the warts have stayed away for over six years. I’ve had protected and unprotected sex since my diagnosis, and none of my partners have been affected. I got pregnant, gave birth, and my baby is completely unharmed. Your body will heal. The virus will clear. (Side note: You should always inform any sexual partners of your STD if you’re aware you have it. Having this conversation can be difficult, and not everyone will be okay with it, but since the statistics for HPV are so high, you’ll probably be surprised by how common it is.)

Final message

So, I just want to say to anyone who might be struggling psychologically, please stop torturing yourself. At 16, mortified and too ashamed to tell anyone, I definitely could’ve used some advice and guidance rather than the horror stories I googled. Just try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible and improve your immune system—this is the best way to clear the virus. Girls, GET YOUR HPV TEST! Even if you have no symptoms, the silent strains can cause cancer if left untreated, so early prevention is important. Also, I still need to receive the Gardasil vaccines; I’ve been putting it off for too long, but I also recommend it. Although it does not cure HPV already contracted or protect you from ALL STD strains, it does protect you from the most common ones.

But most importantly, please be kind to yourself and your body and learn to forgive. Thank you for reading 🙂