Excerpt from “Thank You for HPV” Chapter 5: Re-write your story (because you can)

Finding out you have a sexually transmitted infection can be challenging emotionally. I know. As women, we generally carry a lot of guilt in association with our sexuality. While we’ve come a long way in this area, we still have a long way to go before we rid ourselves of the stigma that our body and sex are taboo. Adding an STI to the mix only amplifies this guilt.

Let’s get one thing straight. Having sex doesn’t make you a bad person. Getting a virus doesn’t make you bad, either. You did not do anything wrong. You got a virus. It came from a sexual experience you either consented to or didn’t. It doesn’t mean you were irresponsible. It also doesn’t make you stupid or deem you to be a loser. It means you have a virus, that’s all. You got a virus, just like getting a virus when somebody coughs or sneezes—except yours was transmitted sexually, rather than airborne.

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