When I found out I had HPV the displasia was so bad that they were worried it would turn into cervical cancer. I had a procedure called a LEEP done the first time we found the displasia and the doctor I had seen for that procedure was a Gynecological Oncologist. He had recommended that if the displasia came back that I would need to get a hysterectomy. Well my first check up at 3 months was all clear and then they waited until it had been a year before I got my next pap to see if it was okay. Well my yearly pap showed abnormal cells again so my primary care doctor sent me to an OB/Gyn and we did the colpocopy and then a cone biopsy.
The only reason we went ahead with the cone biopsy was to see if it had turned cancerous before we did my hysterectomy. Those results came back negative for cancer, but I was very lucky according to my doctor because if I hadn't been vigilant it could have turned into cancer. I got my hysterectomy but still have to have yearly checks to see if there are further issues with the HPV.
Ok so all of this led me to look into issues women with HIV and HPV face. I found out from one study on this page that women with HIV are more likely to get HPV and have abnormalities with their cervix due to that. These issues as they pointed out on that page can lead to invasive cervical cancer. So because of this HIV positive women must get their yearly pap smears every year for as long as we live. It is important for all women to get them done no matter if they are poz or not. For some reason as the study showed women don't get their pap smears as they should the older they get.
I feel it is important for us to take our health into our own hands because no else is going to do it for us. You know your body better than anyone else, but if you don't take care of it like you should there could be serious issues later on that could have been avoided. That is why having a pap smear, mammogram, and your quarterly (or however it is your personal HIV doctor does it)labs done like they should be. I am glad that both times I came back negative for cancer because I honestly don't think I could have handled another health issue at that time. I encourage you to check out that study and to look into others like it as I did, and look into taking the steps you need to remain as healthy as possible.
Tags: cancer, cervical, HIV, HPV, pap, smears, women