Dr. Didi St. Louis better known to her patients as Dr. Didi, saw the world as a young woman due to her father’s position as a Haitian diplomat.
What she saw there made her want to practice medicine. Dr. Didi competed her medical degree at the University of Miami then her Master’s of Public Health at the University of Alabama/Birmingham.
Now living in Atlanta, Dr. Didi is an assistant professor of Obstectrics and Gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Her Happymommyhappybaby blog encourages women, especially mothers, to focus on their well-being.
Dr. Didi wants to help spread awareness of the impact of HPV in women.
Despite a vaccine, various strains can impact Black women and they don’t clear it as fast as other ethnic groups. (HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that many adults contract, but it usually clears the body on its own.) HPV is linked to cervical cancers in women, and Black women contract it 40% more than other women too often, die from it.
I’m having my 16 year old daughter vaccinated now. Should I get my 19 year old vaccinated also?
You should definitely consider getting your 19yo vaccinated. Gardasil, the main HPV vaccine being recommended covers girls age 12-26 so she is still a good candidate.
How are men affected by HPV virus?
So far the evidence is pointing towards men infected with HPV having increased risk of oral, anal cancer.
I am diabetic is it common/normal to have less sensitivity down there during sex?
It is not common complaint but if your diabetes is not well controlled, it can affect how your body responds to different sensations anywhere.
I was told that the vaccine was only good for a certain age bracket. I’m 42, will it work for me?
Unfortunately you are past the recommended age for the vaccine. The evidence shows it works best in younger women, especially if they have not yet started having sex.
When I took my 14 year old to get his shots for high school they wanted to give him a HPV shot. But I didn’t want to because it is new. What do you think?
Your concern is absolutely legitimate and I applaud you for wanting more information before getting your son vaccinated. I suggest you get more information about the vaccine through the cdc website: CDC.gov and talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. The recommendation is to get boys age 11-21 vaccinated and I plan on getting my son vaccinated when he is old enough.
Is this vaccine good for older women?
Unfortunately the vaccine does not seem to be as effective for women over the age of 26.
What are the symptoms of having HPV?
Most women will get rid of HPV and have no symptoms. When it doesn’t go away it can cause warts (small bump or bumps) in the genital area or abnormal Pap smear results.
Can this virus also be transferred through anal sex with gay men?
There is evidence that the virus can be transmitted through anal sex with gay men. Both gay and bisexual men are likelier to develop anal cancer than men who only have sex with women.
What treatment is available for a 48 year old female that has contracted HPV?
Currently there are no treatment for HPV only for the problems it causes: warts and abnormal pap.
Is this virus something that shows up immediately or do you contract it at some point and it shows up later?
We are still learning how the virus behaves but some people will show sign of infection immediately after being exposed and clear it. Whereas others may not show any signs of infection for years and still clear it. It only becomes a problem if we can’t clear it.
I’ve been diagnosed with HPV and I was told that I may have gotten it from my husband. I got the shot but slept with my husband a month later, should I get it again?
If you have completed the vaccine series there are currently no evidence or recommendations to repeat the series, so you should be fine.
I read a side that alarmed me was a possibility of sterilization. Is this true?
Just like any medication or vaccine there are side effects associated with Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) but sterilization or infertility is not one of them.
If you don’t have a cervix would you benefit still or even need the shot?
HPV is also associated with vaginal and vulvar cancer so I recommend you talk to your gynecologist about getting the vaccine if you are younger than 26.
I’m an ovarian cancer survivor and my boys are 15 and 17. Do they have to have the HPV shot? If so, why is that?
HPV is not related to ovarian cancer, however we recommend boys age 11-21 be vaccinated to decrease their risk of having HPV or HPV related cancer.
How can black women be part of the study? Please inform us.
Morehouse School of Medicine is spearheading efforts to help increase black men and women’s participation in clinical trials. If you are interested I recommend you start by visiting Morehouse School of Medicine’s website www.msm.edu as well as the FDA patient trial network, patient network.fda.gov
Saying it would not be released unless it was safe is not true. How many medicines have been released and we know have had horrible side effects? My daughter took Abilify and Depokote, now she has PERMANENT loss of muscle control.
I am truly sorry to hear about your daughter. All drugs go through rigorous testing for years before being considered for approval for distribution and use, unfortunately no amount of testing can truly predict every possible reaction that those who use the medication will have. Again I’m sorry about your daughter.
Is it true men carry the HPV virus and if so can men and should we be vaccinated?
Yes men can carry the virus and we are now recommending that boys 11-21 be vaccinated and for gay and bisexual men, the age limit is 26.
What are the symptoms of HPV in men and women?
Most men and women don’t have symptoms because they clear the virus. For those who don’t clear the virus they may develop warts, and possibly cervical, oral and anal cancer.
The HVP vaccination, is this a ONE shot or a series of pills for youth?
Gardasil is a series of 3 vaccines administered over 6 months.
I learned men can also get penile cancer from HPV not just oral cancer.
Absolutely men who do not clear HPV are at risk for oral, anal and penile cancer.
I’ve been diagnosed with HPV and I haven’t had sex of any kind in 5 years. I’ve had normal paps every year, except this year. I don’t understand how this happened.
Sometimes it may take years before HPV shows itself. Many people who have HPV show no sign or symptoms of having HPV.
During a regular Pap smear is the HPV virus automatically checked for or is this something we specifically have to ask for?
Currently we do not recommend screening for HPV in women younger than 30 when getting a pap and/ or pelvic exam, because younger women clear the virus better and faster. However these recommendations may change as more information about the virus becomes available.
Dr. Didi Wants Black Women To Be Informed About HPV was originally published on blackamericaweb.com