This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding HPV issues such as: genital warts, causes, diagnosis, cervical cancer, HPV in men, PAP tests, treatment, telling your spouse or partner
I was recently sexually involved with a female who later told me she was diagnosed recently with Cervical Cancer due to HPV. I would like to explain the sexually involved. We did not engage in anal/oral/vaginal intercourse whatsoever. I fingered her without going in (her clitoris only) and touched my own genitals following. Her vaginal fluids were definitely present. We did not engage in any heavy petting or genital to genital contact. My only exposure was to her vaginal fluids. She also got some saliva on my penis as well.
My concern is this. Most of the questions are posed to HPV that causes genital warts and not that causes cervical cancer. (Is there a difference in likelihood of transmission???)
What are my risks? I read on ACS (Anti-Cancer Society) website that 'Genital HPV is transmitted mainly by direct genital contact during vaginal or anal intercourse. It is not spread through bodily fluids, nor does it live in blood, or any organs. ' HOWEVER, THEN IT SAYS 'Oral-genital and hand-genital transmission of some genital HPV types is possible and has been reported.' I HATE THE INCONGRUENCIES in the information all over the place and it causes one to be concerned.
Furthermore, this female stated she got HPV because of the lack of a proper menstrual cycle since she was 14 (10 years). I HIGHLY doubted that but I may be wrong. What concerned me was that she did develop cervical cancer and that is scary. One thing I read is that HIV incerases the risk of HPV causing cervical cancer. Is it possible that it was caused from something else? She claimed that HIV nor genital warts were an issue but that in fact it was related to her adolescent problem.
Therefore, am I at risk possibly from the hand-genital-genital (hand-genital-whatever) or saliva contact or not based on this.
My biggest concern is am I putting my normal female partner now at risk? Does the fact that this woman had cervical cancer put my normal female partner at greater risk if I am in fact at risk? I know that HPV is common in most sexually active adults but I am more concerned with her risks therefore want to know what my risks are.
HPV strains that cause genital warts are not typically the strains that cause cervical cancer. To my knowledge, this is beause some strains prefer more air to grow and therefore develope not inside the cervix but outside on the labia, etc.
There is a possibly that she transmitted the virus to you but in my opinion the risk is negliable. The virus can be transmitted through vaginal fluids a chance of 2% if she had the virus but no symptoms (no warts on her cervix). There is a risk if she did (although you'd have no way of knowing) although you didn't finger her and her strain is unlikely to grow outside of the cervix. HPV is not transmitted through saliva unless there is a wart present in the mouth, as warts do not prefer the acidity of the mouth.
The virus is transmitted through virial shedding, and this is why you can be exposed to a wart and not necessarily contract the virus. Thus even if she did have warts on her cervix does not mean there was necessarily virial shedding.
Is there a risk of transmission...yes? But given all the information you provided and what I know about HPV it's negliable.
You can contract a high risk HPV strain (potentially cervical cancer causing in some women) and remain asymptomatic for you but potentially dangerous for a woman you sleep with. If you're still worried, and I suggest as a percausion, if she is under the age of 25 she should get a HPV vaccine. The vaccine is for the 4 most commons strains of the virus, particularly 2 that are high risk strains. As long as she gets regular PAP tests every year, she should be fine as your risk was negliable and cervical cancer is slow moving and prospects are promising if caught early.
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