My HPV story (or, a tale of keeping your booty cancer free)

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    Apr 12, 2013 10:40 PM GMT
    HPV. Human Papilloma Virus. Over 100 strains, the most common STD on the planet.

    You've heard the girls talk about their annual trip to the ladypart doctor for their pap smear ... and gents, let me tell you from firsthand experience that you and your buddies should be discussing just the same.

    HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Condoms provide some protection, but they're not 100%. (unless you're completely encased in latex, but that's for the BDSM forums!).

    Me? I thought i was safe. Always bottomed when the guy was wearing a condom. Years of Reagan-era sex-ed classes taught me that's what you did to be safe. Never thought about skin to skin transmission.....

    If you contract HPV, the body typically clears the virus in a few months, though some can stick around longer dormant. Many of the strains cause no concern, many are asymptomatic, some cause warts. Some leave lesions behind that, if left untreated, can turn into cancer.

    Booty cancer. Not a fun topic. (neither are booty warts but they happen!)

    My doc suggested an anal pap first - and I thought OK sure rule it out, but I always practice safer sex...

    And the results came back abnormal. Of the hundreds of strains of HPV to have gotten....

    After tests, I got my results - High-Grade Intraepithelial Neoplasia. Pre-cancer. Scared me pretty bad.

    2 years later, I'm still in treatment. I've had more high resolution anoscopies than I can count (the inside of my ass looks AWESOME on a huge TV monitor!), chemo (self-applied, topical, up my ass!), 2 surgeries (infrared photocoagulation, they crank me open and fry off the lesions), and I've finally been downgraded from high-grade to low-grade. I'll have checkups every 6 months for a few years now to make sure it's not coming back.

    So, early detection is KEY. Get a pap. If you have abnormal results, don't flip, you're gonna be fine, but get treated!
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    Apr 13, 2013 1:48 AM GMT
    Thanks for your candor and the health tips!
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Apr 13, 2013 1:56 AM GMT
    Rockbiter saidThanks for your candor and the health tips!


    Seconded.
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    Apr 13, 2013 1:57 AM GMT
    Thank you for sharing, I used to think condoms were all you needed too when I first started having sex. I'm sure lots of people think the same.
  • musicdude

    Posts: 734

    Apr 13, 2013 2:04 AM GMT
    gotten a anoscopy recently and all was clear. got it cause my ex had gotten checked and they found pre-cancer cells. he got surgery to remove what was there but apparently needs another one. at his stage its all very minor but it still needs to be taken care of
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    Apr 13, 2013 2:18 AM GMT
    Rockbiter saidThanks for your candor and the health tips!


    Agreed. You're very brave to talk so openly about it. Much appreciated, and good luck with your treatment.
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    Apr 13, 2013 2:33 AM GMT
    Thanks for sharing Bulldog. Your story has already brought increasing awareness of the risk of HPV in men.

    A friend of mine who rarely bottomed (maybe 1-2x a year and always safe btw) also was diagnosed with early HPV.....so the risk is out there.

    As an ophthalmologist I haven't done too much reading about HPV vaccines for men icon_eek.gif. If I remember from my internal medicine days, the vaccine for women is useful when administered prior to sexual activity and thus recommended at an early age (around 10-12 y.o) so I'm assuming it's the same for men?.....and if so, when should men get the vaccine??...hmm, when he realizes he's gay? or should boys and girls both be vaccinated at the same age. Maybe more RJs can shed some light.

    In any event, best of luck on your continued recovery.
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    Apr 13, 2013 2:45 AM GMT
    God, damn it!! Why, is sex so freaking difficult, now a days. You can't be safe doing anything anymore! Geez! lol icon_evil.gif
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    Apr 13, 2013 3:21 AM GMT
    Excellent forum! I always pap my MSM patients who are HIV +. The risk of poorer outcomes is highest in this group, with guys who have lower CD4 counts at the highest risk. Women with history of cervical HPV should also be anal pap'd. Straight men who have never bottomed have also been known to develop anal HPV and develop anal cancer. A colleague of mine at our practice (we're HIV Primary Care Docs) had a young male patient who's HIV was under control, virally suppressed, decent CD4 count...died of anal cancer due to the presence of High risk HPV. Gentlemen, we can't just go out there, throwin' on a hat and givin' it up. Slow down gents, read a damn book or go to the zoo sometimes! Let's get to know our new romantic interests very well and get screened for all health risks together before jumpin' off, or makin' love. Ya' live longer and with more quality if you chill a lil bit! Love you guyz! Be safe! icon_cool.gif
  • Eccomi09

    Posts: 203

    Apr 13, 2013 3:30 AM GMT
    COBulldog74 saidHPV. Human Papilloma Virus. Over 100 strains, the most common STD on the planet.

    You've heard the girls talk about their annual trip to the ladypart doctor for their pap smear ... and gents, let me tell you from firsthand experience that you and your buddies should be discussing just the same.

    HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Condoms provide some protection, but they're not 100%. (unless you're completely encased in latex, but that's for the BDSM forums!).

    Me? I thought i was safe. Always bottomed when the guy was wearing a condom. Years of Reagan-era sex-ed classes taught me that's what you did to be safe. Never thought about skin to skin transmission.....

    If you contract HPV, the body typically clears the virus in a few months, though some can stick around longer dormant. Many of the strains cause no concern, many are asymptomatic, some cause warts. Some leave lesions behind that, if left untreated, can turn into cancer.

    Booty cancer. Not a fun topic. (neither are booty warts but they happen!)

    My doc suggested an anal pap first - and I thought OK sure rule it out, but I always practice safer sex...

    And the results came back abnormal. Of the hundreds of strains of HPV to have gotten....

    After tests, I got my results - High-Grade Intraepithelial Neoplasia. Pre-cancer. Scared me pretty bad.

    2 years later, I'm still in treatment. I've had more high resolution anoscopies than I can count (the inside of my ass looks AWESOME on a huge TV monitor!), chemo (self-applied, topical, up my ass!), 2 surgeries (infrared photocoagulation, they crank me open and fry off the lesions), and I've finally been downgraded from high-grade to low-grade. I'll have checkups every 6 months for a few years now to make sure it's not coming back.

    So, early detection is KEY. Get a pap. If you have abnormal results, don't flip, you're gonna be fine, but get treated!


    I got the HPV vaccine after being all clear from my pap. So, is the vaccine only for the cancerous strains? Clearly it can't be for all the 100...
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    Apr 13, 2013 4:37 AM GMT
    Eccomi 09 asked "... I got the HPV vaccine after being all clear from my pap. So, is the vaccine only for the cancerous strains? Clearly it can't be for all the 100..."


    Excellent question my handsome friend! Gardasil covers low risk strains 6 and 11, commonly seen in warts and High Risk (HR) 16 and 18, which are most commonly seen in squamous cell cancers of the anus. Cervarix covers only HR strains 16 and 18, particularly 16. In men, there has been noted to be an increase in throat cancers due to HR strains. The linkage to HR HPV at this point is not completely delineated or clear. Some researchers posit that there is possibly a correlation with all of the raw oral sex going on out there. At our practice we use Gardasil whenever possible, which is most times. Wherever you get the vaccine, at least make sure that you ask about prevention of the most common HR strains!

    Remember guys - gotta wrap it up with oral too icon_eek.gif What a drag huh? Be as safe as you can and enjoy life! icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 13, 2013 4:42 AM GMT
    I just never worried about it because I got Gardisil when I was 25. I hadn't really ventured into unsafe sex so I figured it was worth it.
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    Apr 13, 2013 5:33 AM GMT
    1 - Thanks to those who've said I'm "brave!" HPV is largely misunderstood and dialogue is important. By default, I've become somewhat of an HPV resource.

    2 - I'm a proponent of early vaccination - even if your insurance doesn't cover it, it's way cheaper than chemo, surgeries, and in my case, airfare for treatment at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco.

    3 - Many, MANY thanks for the well wishes. Yesterday's lab results were the 2nd "normal" biopsies I'd ever gotten - though there are still some low-grade troublemakers in there somewhere. My prognosis is very much a good one.

    4 - I'll just quote my oncologist on this one. "There's no reason you shouldn't be out there having a normal, healthy sex life. Just be cautious and selective in who you enjoy naked sexytimes with." OK, he didn't say "naked sexytimes" that's mine. But you get the gist.
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    Apr 13, 2013 6:30 AM GMT
    HPV is what makes me the most anal about having sex with people who are lets say... "experienced". 1/6 people have some form of HPV from what I was told. A good friend of mine had some warts on his bum from it and had to get them surgically removed!
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    Apr 13, 2013 1:00 PM GMT
    FYI, Oral cancer can develop from oral sex with someone who has genital hpv.

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    Dec 13, 2013 10:24 PM GMT
    Another HPV thread reminded me I was due for an update.

    So, about 2 1/2 years after my initial diagnosis, I'm down to "abnormal squamous" which means that the cells inside my butt are not perfect, but they are not messed up enough to qualify as Low Grade (which is what they were last year this same time).

    I'm on the right track! Doc thinks I may not need any more procedures. I'm still on the 6-month re-check cycle. This last one he said he didn't even see anything in there he wanted to biopsy. Just a hamster. (kidding. it was a gerbil.)
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    Dec 14, 2013 8:23 AM GMT
    CoBulldog74, thank you for sharing your HPV experience. Hope you recover fully soon. You've done a great service educating me (and many others).

    Also thanks to caramelopelon for your expert input.

  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Dec 14, 2013 9:17 AM GMT
    i am so glad for this tread.... bulldog, you keep right on getting screened. if ONLY my initial primary care physician noticed things 7 years ago, i would not have to be subjected to the type of 'treatment' for squamous cell carcinoma. it's been brutal on my body even 15 months out of 'treatment' (as of 11 dec) if only....


    for me it's too late. way too late. but, if i can prevent just one man from going through what i went through when it's blatantly misdiagnosed and subjected to chemo/radiation/edema/fatigue/GI issues/ then i have done my job. my heat felt thanks to the OP for his story and for bringing this to the light of day.