M.E.G.A Monday: Unleashing the knowledge about HPV


Danielle Doty, manager of community Relations, explains what the presentation will be about. She also introduces Dr. Myra Sherman up to the podium.

It is never boring on Monday’s at CF thanks to Mega Mondays. Every week a student club, organization, or department sponsors these events.  This week’s Mega Monday was sponsored by Shop Talk through Ocala Health. Speaker Dr. Myra Sherman educates students about HPV.

This week for Mega Monday on March 4, 2019, Dr. Myra Sherman visited CF from Ocala health to speak about human papillomavirus, or more commonly known as HPV. Sherman is an APRN-BC, which stands for advanced practice registered nurse, board certified.

Mega stands for meet, eat, grow, and act. The goal is to bring students together to learn and just have a good time while doing it. Mega Monday has been going on for four years now.

“I kind of already had a background of this info since Dr. Sherman worked with my father,” said Cameron Reilly, 19, a freshman at CF who is majoring in liberal arts. “I came in support of her.”

Sherman came prepared with copies of her PowerPoint presentation and pens for notes. Sherman’s lecture began unorthodoxly with the audience introducing themselves to her first. Nervous giggles and anxious stares filled the room when everyone realized they had to speak. However, Mega Monday is a fun environment and soon everyone realized it was a friendly space.

Sherman was very informative letting us know what HPV is, and how to prevent it. HPV is an infection that is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex from someone that already has the virus. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection or STI.

“I did learn something new,” said Elizabeth Hoesterey, 18, a freshman at CF who has an undecided major. “I had no idea what HPV was.”

Sherman shocked some students when she explained that nearly 79 million Americans are infected with HPV right now. Also, each year around 14 million people become infected. Even more shocking was that there are over 150 different strains of the virus.

Most people with HPV do not even show symptoms or if they do it takes years for them to develop. HPV can even go away on its own without any health risks. Sherman advises the use of condoms, but she stresses condoms do not take away all the risk. The only sure way to prevent HPV is to be abstinent.

HPV strains 16 and 18 can lead to cancer. The types of cancer-related to HPV are vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharyngeal cancers.

There is a preventative vaccine for HPV. It is called Gardasil. It can be given to boys and girls ages 11 or 12. Catch up vaccinations for people that did not get the vaccine at 11 or 12 can be given up to 26. However, Sherman advises that even people over 26 can be given the vaccine. She explains that age 26 is just a cutoff for most insurance companies.

“Research shows that when students engage in content outside of the classroom and participate in events beyond their classroom learning, that they grow cognitively,” said Karla Wilson, director of Start Smart @ CF. “They’re much more likely to be successful in college.”

To find out more info about Mega Monday, and to find out when the next Mega Monday is visit: https://www.cf.edu/community/pr/events/mega-mondays.html.


Story and photos by: Julia Barona Brodmerkel