Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
Questions about HPV
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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

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Questions about HPV

I recently posted in the experts forum and Dr Hook was very helpful but still have a few questions that hopefully someone can clear up. Here is my original post:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/Questions-about-HPV-transmission/show/1815058

Basically I have been freaking out about the following scenario: If I were to be intimate with someone who later tells me they found out they have a strain of genital HPV. I have severe OCD and guilt issues. I'm a 30 year old male...so basically I'm just wondering what I would 'need' to do in this sort of situation, since--unless I developed obvious warts--there'd be no way of 'knowing' if I got HPV from being intimate with someone who later found out they had it. I.e. do I tell future partners that I 'might' have HPV due to prior possible exposure, or is the whole idea here that this is slightly inane--that HPV is so prevalent that basically any sexually active person 'might' have it at any time, and therefore disclosing the chance is just leading to stress and possible anxiety?? Any advice appreciated (or links to relevant discussions already existing...)

The other scenario I was concerned about was similar--if I went down on a girl who later told me she had HPV, etc. Would I then be obligated to tell future partners I 'might have oral HPV'?? Since I have OCD I would end up telling someone this before I even kissed them, let alone went down on them, which obviously would be a sort of nightmarish and stressful scenario.

And finally, I'm a bit confused about HPV works overall. I know for men there is no strict test, that you wouldn't know you are infected unless it was a wart-causing strain. But for women, is it also possible to 'have' a strain or strains of HPV and never have it show up on a test? I.e. do some strains of HPV remain latent, in that they're 'there' but they don't cause abnormal paps or anything else that would raise an alarm? So basically, then, there are a ton of people--men AND women--walking around with essentially harmless HPV, with no tests picking up on it, which is why the issue of 'disclosure' is so fuzzy and muddled?

6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm starting to think that maybe a lot of the 'disclosure' is different for someone who has actual genital warts rather than a woman whose abnormal pap shows an HPV strain, or a man who has been with a woman who has non-wart causing HPV and therefore 'might' have it himself...Correct?
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Avatar_n_tn
A person who has active genital warts should not be having sex with anyone nor should a woman with negative HPV test results. When they have made the virus dormant in their bodies and no longer have warts or neg tests, then informing future partners is the moral thing to do. However, it is optional since it is assumed that if their partners are sexually active, they have already been exposed. Yes, there are millions of people who have it and do not know it.

I've been to 3 doctors after I was diagnosed with it. Two of them said not to say anything to anyone after 3-6 months of no warts. One of them said it was the moral thing to do. If you log onto STD dating sites, maybe 10% of the people there claim to have it. If you have not been diagnosed with it (you had a wart removed and confirmed), but you know that your past partner had it or has it, you've been exposed but you should not say a thing to a new partner who is sexually active anyway since they probably have it too!

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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks...anyone else? Seems like there's diversity of opinion. veryworried420, did you mean in your second line "nor should a woman with POSITIVE HPV test results"?
And also this doesn't clear up the distinction between actual warts and other HPV strains that show up on a pap smear, etc...
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Avatar_m_tn
And if I'm following what you say above, it doesn't quite square with some things from CDC and experts on this forum..
The way you relay this, if you're a guy, the only time you'd ever mention HPV is if you'd had visible, treated warts...since there's no recommended test for men and HPV otherwise.

But if you're a woman, then you should disclose HPV if you've had warts OR if the HPV has shown up on a pap. Seems like the CDC recommendation for the latter is not to disclose it to all new partners?? Pretty confusing...
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Avatar_m_tn
Actually I think everything you're saying is at odds with CDC and doctor's opinion, worried: "When they have made the virus dormant in their bodies and no longer have warts or neg tests, then informing future partners is the moral thing to do." Or at least a matter of your personal opinion. Because it's so prevalent and misunderstood and omnipresent I don't think anyone is suggesting that disclosing indefinitely is the 'moral thing to do??'
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Avatar_n_tn
This is why 2 of my doctors said I should not say anything. They agree with the CDC. Not that they are immoral but they believe nearly everyone has it or will have it and so it is pointless to disclose. My third doctor said it was the moral thing to do. Personally, I'm not going to admit to this at all after 2 years of no symptoms.
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