POLITICS
08/18/2014 11:58 am ET | Updated Aug 19, 2014

NYC Council Speaker Reveals She Has 'High-Risk HPV'

Through a series of tweets Sunday, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito revealed she had been recently diagnosed with "high-risk HPV."

Mark-Viverito, 45, said she learned about the results on Friday and would be undergoing a biopsy soon.

Her office did not immediately return requests for further comment.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV as it is most commonly referred to, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people infected with HPV are unaware they have it. A "high-risk" diagnosis can lead to cervical cancer if the infection is not detected or removed in time, the CDC notes.

In her announcement, Mark-Viverito said she hoped to raise awareness for women's health and destigmatize the infection.

The revelation was met with a wave of support from Twitter users who in return expressed gratitude for her decision to go public with the news and encourage others to prioritize vaccination.

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