Hi all, I am new to this board and I wanted to share something that has been bothering me lately.
A little about me...I'm a 27 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with (what must be) the high risk type of HPV as my PAP came back abnormal in the fall and I received a colposcopy to remove some small abnormal cells. My doctor was very nonchalant about it, telling me everyone has HPV, and not to worry too much, and not to even worry about telling people (though I feel like if I am ever in another serious relationship, that's something I'd want to discuss..and sexual relationships are serious to me).
I'm finding that while he is right--most sexually active people will come across the virus at some point--only a few of us seem to get diagnosed or even know what it is. It seems like the generations before us also dealt with it, but it wasn't going by any type of name back then. My mom had some abnormalities frozen off of her cervix when she was my age, but that was it--there was no causal relationship between that and something else, etc. She just moved on, not having to "disclose" anything or worry about her health.
This is leading up to a situation that's been bothering me of late. I have several groups of friends, some closer than others, and the people I've chosen to talk to about this have all been very supportive and haven't let it affect anything about our relationship...just as I would expect. I like to think I've educated them and helped them learn more about something that seems very confusing and under-the-radar. I have one newer group of friends though, some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Usually very accommodating, gracious, warm, etc. Recently one of them, a guy, started hanging out again with his ex girlfriend. She let him know that she has HPV, and he (in a very ungentlemanly move, methinks) told some of the other people in our group about it.
Now given, no one seems to like this girl at all, so they are already bent on slandering her, but one of the girls I like most in the group has said some pretty snide things about her in relation to HPV. When my friends bicker about this girl, she lets things like "Yeah, that's why she has HPV" disgustedly slip out. This has happened twice now. The guy also reacted with a "No thanks" after finding out she was dealing with HPV, as he was considering getting involved with her again for some fun (although it sounds like he's still really into hanging out with her, etc).
I know they don't have any idea that they are insulting me with this stuff, but at the same time it really stings. I don't feel comfortable telling them about my situation because it's none of their business and I've never planned on talking about that with them. How do I brush these comments off, though, while retaining all the fun stuff? I love hanging out with them, and they are equally into our new friendship....we all have a goofy sense of humor and share that same odd vibe it's hard to find with most people....just out of the blue these comments have started popping up. Who would have ever thought that would happen?
Hell, for all they know, they have HPV too! Maybe my friend was even the one who gave it to Girl X in the center of the issue! It just feels so unfair, and I hate that this has to be labeled and stigmatized as an STI. It's just something out there...like a cold. I have come to grips with the fact that I am not to blame, disgusting, etc. My boyfriend (whom I probably got it from) couldn't care less and thinks I'm beautiful and that we are both fine.
The general lack of knowledge and judgment is what saddens me. Would you be upset with them too, or am I just overreacting?