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Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic

 

HPV Epidemic –  “I wish the cancer would have killed you!” These are the chilling words of Susie’s husband when he learned that her cancer was caused by HPV, a sexually transmitted virus. Narrated by Vanessa Williams, this poignant documentary takes a look into the lives of five women affected by HPV, the widely misunderstood and controversial virus that causes several types of cancer, including cervical. Each of these women has an intimate story to tell. For Susie, Tamika and Christine, it’s a story of survivorship that comes with misconceptions, stigma, shame, heartbreak, pain and triumph. For the Forbes’ family, it’s about coping with the loss of their daughter Kristen and trying to prevent it from happening to others like her. Others like Kelly, who at 31 years began her cancer journey. The cameras follow Kelly on her epic battle to save her marriage, her career, her family and ultimately, her life.

The Human Papilloma Virus HPV may be the most widespread, misunderstood and potentially dangerous epidemic that most people hardly know anything about. 80 percent of all people under 50 years of age will have a strain of the virus at some point in their lives and most will not even realize they have it.

Cervical cancer is almost exclusively caused by HPV and it is the 2nd leading cancer in women. Worldwide, cervical cancer kills over 250,000 women every year. Meet five unforgettable women whose lives have been changed forever and even interrupted by this deadly virus. – Narrated by Vanessa Williams.

This film is being shown at a small number of theaters across the country.  It also puts some much needed attention on the HPV virus and the people affected by it.  Having HPV is no longer just a stigma, it is a serious health issue.  If there is not a movie screening in your area, they are going to sell DVDs.  The proceeds will go to getting more exposure in schools, clinics and OBGYN offices.

For the female readers: Please get a yearly exam and screening.  If you do have HPV, you definitely want it detected early.

For the male readers: There is no current test for HPV in men other than visible warts for some strains.  Also, most men who get HPV (Any type) will not show any signs or symptoms.  If you do show signs of any abnormalities on your penis, such as a wart or bump, please see your doctor.  HPV related cancer of the penis is a real thing.  For more information on HPV in men, the CDC has some great information HERE.

Currently, there is no cure for HPV.  However, there are treatments for the symptoms. According to the CDC, HPV goes away on its own and doesn’t cause any health problems…in most cases.  It is when it doesn’t go away that it can cause health problems such as genital warts and even cancer.

 

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