As I mentioned, HPV is the most prevalent STD in the world today. Another factoidz article brought up an interesting point about the occurrence of oral HPV asking “What’s in your mouth?” Great question. These days I suggest we include the question “Who’s in your mouth and where else have they been?”
It is true that cigarette smoking, tobacco chewing, neglected oral hygiene, and heredity can produce cancers in the mouth. These factors may produce warts, sores and lesions. Oral cancers and occurrences of HPV orally have been on the increase since 1973. I believe, undeniably, that the increase in oral HPV is due to the increase of oral sex. I can actually attest to this as a fact after five plus years seeing oral and genital HPV and the warts that it can produce. I have seen it first hand in the healthcare settings where I have been privileged to work in the area of infectious diseases. I have experienced it personally.
While age does play a major part in cancers of the mouth, there is an increase in oral HPV worldwide due to expanded acceptance and practicing of oral sex.
Unfortunately, this now pertains to younger generations where the occurrences of oral HPV, as well as HPV genitally (in the boxer shorts area) have also increased. Our future generations are having sexual contact younger and younger with little complete, unbiased, unedited, pertinent, “public approved” education available to youngsters and people in general. More of this education would warn and inform people of all ages of the consequences of their physical actions, no matter how seemingly innocent they seem at the time.
Past generations have not practiced or admitted to practicing as much oral sex as those of us may currently experience because it was just not talked about. All types of sex must be talked about. All types of STD’s must be talked about. Why? Because not talking about it is not working on the problem.
Practicing oral sex, in the eyes of the many different generations, but especially the eyes of our younger generations, doesn’t seem to be labeled as true or real sex because no intercourse has taken place.
Let me verify now that no matter what age you are, any physical contact that exchanges bodily fluids is sex.
You have made physical contact and exchanged some sort of bodily fluid even if it is just kissing. Due to the fact that all it takes for some STD’s to transfer from one person to another is an open portal, an opening of any sort in the skin in the boxer shorts area, such as a scratch, a scrape an opened pimple or hair bump and the presence of that disease state in one of the participating parties, and the transfer of viruses can be completed. And remember HIV, HPV and herpes are viruses and viruses are smart and tricky. These viruses may lie dormant for days, months or years before showing themselves with no accounting for age, gender or social standing. Disease is not selective.
I know of a woman who found herself with herpes genitally after years in a monogamous relationship after her mother passed away. Another found out her 15 year old daughter had contracted oral HPV by finding information previously viewed on their home computer. The mother was shocked to discover her young daughter was sexually active. The uneducated young girl had no idea what was going on in her mouth, felt like she couldn’t confide in her mother and searched the internet to self diagnose. They now have a much more open relationship and the warts have been removed. They are both much more informed, but this young lady will carry that virus for life and may have further problem to deal with much later on. HPV can “run its course” but the virus is still present in the body.
When I appeared on an area television program, I was asked to remark on how the virus lies dormant, I replied that people have been married or monogamous for a good amount of time and have awoken one day finding themselves with their primary outbreak of herpes or HPV. Viruses hide.
I always encourage those I counsel not to jump to irrational conclusions and to realize that probably none of us were virgins when our relationships began. If the couple has not been tested for STD’s together before, I strongly suggest they do so now, together.
These viruses react to our physical and emotional states. If all has been sunny and bright in a relationship thus far and there have been no bumps in the road and suddenly there is an argument, a death or an illness then a great amount of stress becomes present. These factors can awaken the HPV or herpes virus and open up a big can of Uh-Oh. This scenario can and has happened. A person who may have never known they were affected by herpes or HPV may wake up and find out the exact opposite. Certainly this primary outbreak could occur orally but most often times occurs genitally if there has been actual intercourse.
With the rise in oral contact and no actual intercourse, the presence of oral HPV in younger people is exploding. Without making complete, unbiased, unedited, pertinent information and education available to youngsters and people in general, without the fear of negative social stigma or fear of rejection or retribution, these statistics will continue to grow. This is a wakeup call.
After all, intimacy isn’t just the act of sex. Intimacy is being willing to put it on paper and be honest and up front with all partners before the act. Remember what the commercial says “Sex can wait. You are worth it.” That goes for us all, no matter what age!