How Muni gave me HPV

I live in San Francisco and I love it here. The bus stop is literally across the street from my house. When I’m running late, I can hop on the bus to avoid a brisk 10 minute walk. When I leave the house on time, I’ll usually walk it. Anyway, I’m sure everyone has taken some form of public transportation at least once in their lives. Do you have your own horror story? Well I do… But before I get into the meat of this subject, let’s go over some stats about San Francisco and its public trans system, the Muni. Muni is made up of buses, trolley cars, and light rail vehicles. In 2006, there were nearly 700,000 rides per DAY. Divide that by half under the assumption each person will ride the Muni back to their original destination, and you get 350k. My point? Hella people ride Muni. The population in San Francisco is estimated at 805,235. My point? There are hella people in San Francisco.

Next topic… What is HPV? HPV stands for the Human papilloma virus. It’s commonly transmitted via sores and open cuts, most often on the face, feet, and hands and especially through direct sexual contact. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a wart on my hand. Initially I thought it was a stubborn callus that I’ve had for weeks until I showed it to a friend who has had a wart before.

Yep that's a wart

I’ve never had a wart before so I went online and I compared pictures of common warts and they look similar. Warts are commonly spread via HPV. Since no one I know has HPV and I’ve been tested for HPV in the past, I came to the conclusion I got it through holding on tight to the hand rail on the bus. You’re probably saying, “But wait, you must have had an open cut or something!” Indeed. I did. That same callus on my hand, I would pick at while I was bored. I remember one day I picked to the point where it was a small, open fleshy wound, and that’s probably the day [or week] I rode the bus. I examined the location of my ex-callus now-wart and mock held a handrail and it totally lines up. Gross. Up until a few days ago I kept thinking it was the same callus. Don’t get me wrong, as soon as I get to work and before I touch my keyboard, I always hit the bathroom to wash my hands, but the time between contact and the time I’m able to wash my hands is probably around 45 minutes or so. Needless to say I’ve started packing those hand sanitizers with me…

Muni Handrails

Oh, before I forget, there was a study done on BART about the bacteria found on the seats… Oddly enough, the bacteria found on Muni seats were gone with a simple alcohol swab. The study about the BART seats on the other hand, sends shivers down my spine… find the story here. Moral? Don’t hold the damn handrail on Muni and stand up while you’re on BART! Happy Riding!

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3 Responses to How Muni gave me HPV

  1. Bill says:

    Excellent post, friend! I’ve bopokmarkerd your site and I’m looking forward to reading more soon. Keep up the good work.

  2. Bob says:

    There is no test for HPV for men. How do you even get “tested” for it? Unless you show physical signs like a wart then thats the only way to tell. Some people who have HPV don’t show any symptoms.

    For women, you can diagnose it by a pap smear.

  3. Lee says:

    HPV is often synonymous with warts. Apparently my dermatologist said some people are susceptible to warts, while other people don’t show signs until an open wound is introduced where the wart can grow. This is my first wart I’ve ever experienced. The Freeze away treatment didn’t work (Dr. said the stuff doesn’t get cold enough), so I went in and got it frozen with liquid nitrogen.

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