I was 21 years old. I was careful. I didn’t always use condoms, but I had the vaccine at age 11. I made sure my partners were clean. I have been on birth control since age 18. By the time I was 21, I had my very first Pap test that everyone thought would be normal. Little did I know, that was far from the truth.
I was diagnosed HPV-positive with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. I was devastated thinking I was never going to find a guy that wanted me. HPV gave me CIN 1. I am almost to my fourth year of being HPV-positive. I was told it would naturally go away in a year. Little did I know, it would actually take three years to get rid of the CIN 1. I was told last year it looked to be going away on its own.
I have found partners over the years that have been very accepting of my HPV status, including the love of my life that I have been with on and off for seven to eight years. It’s mostly a symptom-less carrier virus that most people don’t know they have, which is why it’s highly stigmatized. We live in a world where HPV is everywhere. It’s become the minority to not have it, yet it’s still looked down upon by people who highly possibly unknowingly have it themselves.
— Rebecca, age 24