DR. HOOK- Bottoms up! Kathy, get your PAP test on TV!
Kathy Griffin is a goddess. Yes, move over Venus– Kathy is here! She recently performed at The Paramount– run by the fabulous Chad Hershner– and brought da House down (as Queen Latifah would say).
Kathy has a Bravo network reality show that documents every funny and bold moment of her life as a stand-up comedian and actress. She brought the Bravo cameras to Charlottesville, and guess who made a cameo appearance on her reality show?
Yes, police chief Tim Longo is on season two of "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List." But that's not who I meant! You get one more guess, and it rhymes with Kong– and you better not get it wong.
That's right. I showed up at her show and got to meet her in the basement. Little did I know I would be on her show or that Bravo would release a half-hour video preview with me on it, titled "Dr. Hong, Very Shy Fan." (I am shy– deep down inside.)
Okay, so I jumped up and down a few times as if I were in a Richard Simmons video and screamed at the top of my lungs like Kurt Cobain. I had a mission. I bought her DVD– allegedly– and wanted her to sign it, "Dr. Hong, PAP smear me! Xoxo Kathy Griffin."
Haha, little did she know I would ask her later to actually do it for HPV awareness! (Is it too bold of me to ask?) We can bring in the cameras, but instead of seeing Katie Couric's colon, I can discretely perform Kathy's PAP and HPV testing. Would Nicole Kidman do this? (That's the question Kathy always asks herself.) It just might get her off that D-List.
HPV does not stand for "HaPpy Virus." It's Human Papillomavirus, and it's the #1 cause of cervical cancer. If you're having a dinner party, I bet at least one person at the table has HPV. Twenty million Americans are afflicted, and there are more than six million new cases each year.
Now listen to this: in one study of sexually active urban teenage girls, 64 percent had cervical HPV; in college freshmen the rate was 26 percent (three years later, when they were seniors, it was 43 percent); among women 18-40 years old, 39 percent had the virus. (The Weather Girls start to sing, "It's Raining Men!")
Speaking of which, what about men? Men are the ones who infect the women. Well, we don't have much data on men, and there really isn't a screen for detecting HPV on the penis. For men having sex with men, a study spanning four cities showed anal HPV prevalence to be about 57 percent, which is why I'm starting to do anal HPV "PAPs" on my gay patients or men who have had sex with men. (I wonder if Kathy Griffin's husband, Matt-– who is so not gay– would be willing to get his "PAP" to bring awareness to men who are at risk? I know it would not be like having side-by-side massages with Kathy, but still!)
The vaccine doesn't get rid of HPV in infected women, but since HPV can go away on its own, wouldn't it be worthwhile to prevent reinfection? What about men? Shouldn't men be vaccinated to prevent spreading infection to their partners or developing rectal cancer?
Merck is releasing the very first available HPV vaccine this summer. You might already have seen the "Tell Someone" campaign on TV to heighten awareness that HPV 16 & 18 can cause cervical cancer. Maybe they can get Billy Joel to sing "Tell Her About It," but with HPV lyrics.
I'm on the special half-hour sneak peek of Kathy Griffin's show which plays online on tv.Yahoo.com. The six new episodes of the hour-long show began on Tuesday, June 6 at 9pm on Bravo. (I'm still waiting for her answer to my on-air PAP proposal.)
Me and my future HPV spokesperson?
BRAVO SCREEN CAPTURE