Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is highlighting the importance of ditching the STI label that is attached to human papillomavirus (HPV) during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
Research conducted by the charity has found 10% of people would feel dirty if they were diagnosed with HPV.
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The charity warns that lack of understanding about HPV could lead to impulsive decisions or accusations which could have a life-long impact.
There are two types of HPV that are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions – HPV types 16 and 18.
In Bournemouth between 2017 and 2018, the number of HPV vaccinations amongst 12-13-year-old girls fell by almost 10%, and was the lowest for 2014.
Earlier, BUzz spoke to Laura Flaherty, a media volunteer with Jo’s Trust, about her experience with HPV diagnosis: “I’d been with my partner a long time and I was thinking had he cheated on me, had he been unfaithful? That’s not how HPV works but in my head, that’s where I was, I didn’t speak to anyone else about it because I was so ashamed.”
She added: “I went to my appointment the day after, I didn’t take anyone with me because if it was bad news I wanted to hear it myself. The shame had put me in that position.”
You can find details of local vaccination centres here.