New York City council speaker reveals HPV diagnosis to raise awareness

New York City councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito smiles as she speaks after being elected speaker of the city council inside of City Hall in the Manhattan borough of New YorkThe speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, announced at the weekend that she has a "high-risk" form of HPV to try to raise awareness about the common but often stigmatized sexually transmitted infection. Her gynecologist gave her the diagnosis on Friday and said she would need to have a biopsy, she said in a series of messages posted to her Twitter account. "But this position has led me to understand I now have a bigger responsibility." Mark-Viverito, who took office in January, is one of the most powerful political figures in New York after Mayor Bill de Blasio and controls the agenda of the city's main legislative body. There is no cure for HPV, which is short for human papillomavirus, although it sometimes goes away on its own, and some of the health problems it can cause, such as genital warts, can be treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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