Dr. Didi Wants Black Women To Be Informed About HPV

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    Dr. Didi St. Louis better known to her patients as Dr. Didi, saw the world as a young woman due to her father’s position as a Haitian diplomat.

    What she saw there made her want to practice medicine. Dr. Didi competed her medical degree at the University of Miami then her Master’s of Public Health at the University of Alabama/Birmingham.

    Now living in Atlanta, Dr. Didi is an assistant professor of Obstectrics and Gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

    Her Happymommyhappybaby blog encourages women, especially mothers, to focus on their well-being.

    Dr. Didi wants to help spread awareness of the impact of HPV in women.

    Despite a vaccine, various strains can impact Black women and they don’t clear it as fast as other ethnic groups. (HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that many adults contract, but it usually clears the body on its own.) HPV is linked to cervical cancers in women, and Black women contract it 40% more than other women too often, die from it.

    I’m having my 16 year old daughter vaccinated now. Should I get my 19 year old vaccinated also?

    You should definitely consider getting your 19yo vaccinated. Gardasil, the main HPV vaccine being recommended covers girls age 12-26 so she is still a good candidate.

    How are men affected by HPV virus?

    So far the evidence is pointing towards men infected with HPV having increased risk of oral, anal cancer.

    I am diabetic is it common/normal to have less sensitivity down there  during sex?

    It is not common complaint but if your diabetes is not well controlled, it can affect how your body responds to different sensations anywhere.

    I was told that the vaccine was only good for a certain age bracket.  I’m 42, will it work for me?
    Unfortunately you are past the recommended age for the vaccine. The evidence shows it works best in younger women, especially if they have not yet started having sex.

    When I took my 14 year old to get his shots for high school they wanted to give him a HPV shot. But I didn’t want to because it is new. What do you think?

    Your concern is absolutely legitimate and I applaud you for wanting more information before getting your son vaccinated. I suggest you get more information about the vaccine through the cdc website: CDC.gov and talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. The recommendation is to get boys age 11-21 vaccinated and I plan on getting my son vaccinated when he is old enough.

    Is this vaccine good for older women?

    Unfortunately the vaccine does not seem to be as effective for women over the age of 26.

    What are the symptoms of having HPV?

    Most women will get rid of HPV and have no symptoms. When it doesn’t go away it can cause warts (small bump or bumps) in the genital area or abnormal Pap smear results.

    Can this virus also be transferred through anal sex with gay men?

    There is evidence that the virus can be transmitted through anal sex with gay men. Both gay and bisexual men are likelier to develop anal cancer than men who only have sex with women.

    What treatment is available for a 48 year old female that has contracted HPV?

    Currently there are no treatment for HPV only for the problems it causes: warts and abnormal pap.

    Is this virus something that shows up immediately or do you contract it at some point and it shows up later?

    We are still learning how the virus behaves but some people will show sign of infection immediately after being exposed and clear it. Whereas others may not show any signs of infection for years and still clear it. It only becomes a problem if we can’t clear it.

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