Just wanted to add that Merck are doing a very good campaign in the US called "tell someone", educating people on the HPV virus which is one of the most common viruses, yet the least known about. HPV is the reason we have pap smears. In all honesty, I didn't know that. I knew that smears detected abnormal cells, but I didn't know why, nor that the abnormal cells could result in cervical cancer. I don't think I was ever told that. And I was good at having paps (every 2 years in Aus, as opposed to the 3 -5 years here).
So please Tell Someone. We need to be educated more about the point of pap smears to protect other women from the experience that I'm dealing with. The irritating thing is that men carry HPV but they can't be tested for it!