Muireann O’Connell has received comments of praise and support after sharing her HPV diagnosis on Instagram.
HPV stands for human papillomavirus, and some forms increase the risk of cervical and other forms of cancer.
The presenter shared a lengthy Instagram post detailing her diagnosis, and urged her female followers not to let recent cervical check issues in Ireland put them off getting screened.
This morning, news broke that due to a capacity issue at Cervical Check Ireland, 180 samples went out of date, meaning the women affected will need to be retested.
Muireann wrote: “Who has HPV? I do! I know the story this morning about Cervical Check letting 180 samples go out of date before they were sent on for cytology is infuriating. It’s more than infuriating. Lives have literally been lost over issues at cervical check.”
“Of course you’re gonna be angry at hearing that there have been more massive mistakes made, but, I really hope it’s not gonna stop you from getting screened. Screening can prevent cancer. ”
“When I received the call last month that I had HPV, I had a little freak out. Then realised that most people will get some form of HPV in their lifetime and 9 out of 10 clear up within 2 years.”
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“Now I know I have it, my GP is on top of it and I’ll be checked again next year. If it develops into something else, it will have been caught early.”
Muireann also expressed her disgust over the recent cervical check scandal in Ireland, which saw multiple women receive incorrect smear test results for cervical cancer.
However, she urged people to still use the screening programmes available to catch HPV and cervical cancer early.
She said: “Over 1,000 women have been lied to by the state in the cervical cancer scandal. It is disgusting and every single person deserves justice but please don’t let the failings turn you away from screening.”
“Yes, there are issues but we live in a country that has a screening programme. So many people don’t. Please use it.”
In the comment section, the 38-year-old was praised for her honesty.
One user wrote: “You’re a total badass and true friend to women everywhere for posting this Muireann.”
Another penned: “If I could like this post twice I would. 🙌”
A few followers also shared their own experiences, with one writing: Thanks for sharing, I was so embarrassed when I found out I had it 3 years ago….but after 3 checkups I got the all clear late last year. It’s so common but never talked about!”