If you’re a human being, of any gender or sexual orientation, new research suggests you should be screened for HPV. That’s because whether you’re a straight man or woman, or a gay man, or even — a new study indicates — a lesbian woman, you’re a risk for contracting the virus. And if you’re a lady, you know what that means: exposure to the virus that can lead to cervical cancer.
We were unaware that gay women were not being instructed to receive HPV screenings, because we just talked to one of our gal-loving galpals, who just had a HPV screening done, at the recommendation of her doctor. But apparently it’s not a medical standard? That’s because, we’re told, it was previously believed two women could not spread the human papilloma virus between each other, to which we wonder: Uh, do scientists know how women fuck? And also: They’ve seen lesbians with genital warts before, right? Because that shit is caused by HPV.
Historically it was believed that the HPV virus could only be transmitted through heterosexual relationships, leading to the incorrect assumption that lesbians are not at risk from cervical cancer and do not need to be screened.
Although some lesbians may never have had a relationship with a man, there is a strong chance a partner may have. Research shows that 80 per cent of lesbians have had a sexual relationship with a man at some stage in their life. Any exchange of bodily fluids can pass the HPV between two people, so a woman could contract the infection from her partner.
“Some lesbian women have said they feel discouraged from being screened because they are asked questions such as how regularly they have sex with their husband or boyfriend or whether they use contraception with them,” [Dr Julie Fish from De Montfort University] said. “Such discourse conveys the assumption that cervical screening is only necessary for heterosexual women.”
How about, when you go to get screened for STDs, you have them check everything? Our mother once taught us “better safe than sorry,” and it’s like, well, yeah.