Medical Mystery, Meet Sex Education

In Sex Ed, we had to take “Name that STD” tests. In college, our RA’s handed out “Safe Sex” kits filled with condoms and pamphlets on HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection. About 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, with about 6.2 new infections popping up each year. Over 50% of sexually active men and women acquire a genital HPV infection during their lives, and on college campus, the numbers are even higher. If those numbers aren’t enough to encourage you to get the new HPV vaccine, check out the story of Dede, an Indonesian fisherman who just got diagnosed with some pretty serious HPV.
1% of sexually active people break out in genital warts. You might think that number seems low, but are you really willing to play Russian roulette with your vagine? Getting back to Dede, the 35-year-old man has been labeled the “Tree Man,” due to some mysterious lesions on his skin, and root-like growths stemming from his hands and feet. For years, his condition went undiagnosed, until an American doctor discovered that Dede has an HPV infection. Unfortunately for the fisherman, he also has an uncommon immune system defect, so while most people can hide their downstairs bumps, Dede grew severe warts all over his body, causing him to lose his job, his wife, and his self esteem.
Genital warts are removed when a doctor freezes or burns them off of the patient’s skin, which how Dede’s doc, Dr. Gaspari, plans to treat his patient. The larger, root-looking warts will be surgically removed. Experts say this deficiency that caused this outbreak is less than a one-in-a-million occurrence.
Still, the next time you get caught up in a sexy, steamy romp, don’t take any chances. Sex won’t make your limbs turn into plants, but whether it’s little red bumps, slimy discharge, or, even worse, cervical cancer, it’s not worth it to be the “ONE” in “one in a million.” So get vaccinated, get tested, use protection, and treat your body right.

I Heart My Masculinity
I Heart My Masculinity
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