Beating HPV

Letters to the Boston editor, September 25, 2009
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 23, 2009

When I was an undergrad student in Boston, I was diagnosed with HPV and went through all the same medical procedures Lisa Spinelli experienced, and the LEEP procedure, too. Comparing my experience to Lisa’s, I was struck by the forceful language in the article and wanted to write to tell your readers that it doesn’t need to be painful or stressful to deal with HPV.

Like Lisa, I think it’s about time we all stop stigmatizing HPV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections, and openly talk about them. HPV happens to everyone. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. There’s no point living in fear of it, either. You can have a good relationship with your doctor. Write your thoughts down before you go into your appointments and ask your doctor all your questions face-to-face. The infection is totally manageable, and if you’re getting regular Paps, cervical cancer is preventable. Just be safe, use a male or female condom, get tested, know your partners, and look into Gardasil for yourself!

Kudos to the Boston Phoenix for putting this important topic out there. I hope more people will talk about their experiences, good and bad, so we can finally put all the unnecessary stigma surrounding HPV behind us. If we can do that, then we can finally focus on preventing people from getting HPV in the first place!

Marissa Rousselle
Master’s of Public Health Candidate
University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health

Stop crying your heart out
As an American Oasis fan, I was insulted by your September 11 “Big Hurt” column. First off, I cannot fathom that you would promote physical violence toward an artist while he is most vulnerable. You should apologize immediately to your readers. That incident last year, when Noel Gallagher was attacked from behind on stage, was not a joke. He fractured three ribs. Frankly, he’s lucky he wasn’t hurt more seriously, as he could have fallen completely off the stage, guitar in hand. Does your publication promote random acts of cowardly violence? It shouldn’t.

Second, you are unable to separate your hate for the people from their talents, abilities, and accomplishments. You write off Oasis as if they are unimportant in the history of rock music. That’s a foolish statement. How many records have they sold over their 15 years of existence? An estimated 50 million. On how many worldwide tours have they played to packed venues? Each one of the last three tours amassed more than 90 dates in at least 25 countries, and almost every show was sold out. How many current bands were inspired by Oasis? The Killers, who formed at an Oasis show. Coldplay, whose frontman Chris Martin states that Oasis was the reason he picked up a guitar. The Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — the list goes on.

Oasis made playing guitar-based rock music fun again for an entire generation of kids across the world. Have a little respect, and try to enjoy the sunshine.

David Stewart
Richmond, Virginia

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