A Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, which causes genital warts, is great cause of shame for more than half of Canadians, according to a recently concluded survey. Awareness about HPV prevention has always been widely promoted but for those who are already suffering from recurrent HPV infection, the effects on their psychological and sexual health are often not adequately addressed.
The results of the survey reveal that:
Fifty-four percent of Canadian respondents said they would feel ashamed if they suffered from genital warts;
According to 53 percent of respondents, their self-esteem would decrease significantly;
Forty-four percent said they would worry about being judged by their family and friends;
According to 32 percent, having genital warts would make them worry about not finding love;
Because of the associated emotional stigma, 10 percent of Canadians said they would avoid telling their partner that they had genital warts and 34 percent would avoid telling their doctor;
When it comes to treatment, 58 percent would choose a prescription cream rather than more invasive treatments.
Dr. Marc Steben, clinician at l’ActuelSTI clinic and associate clinician at the Direction of Biological Risks and Health at Work at the Québec National Public Health Institute, says any irregular lump or bump on the genitals necessitates an immediate visit to the doctor. “Early treatment of genital warts is the first step in overcoming fears and getting control over the condition,” he adds.
To find out more about genital warts, Canadians can visit Genitalwarts.ca.