Medical system is focused on the biggest damage - so ALL women should follow recomendations of ocasional PAP smear, at least once in every 5 years if I recall.
HPV is very prevalent and invisible, so the system focuses on cervical cancer.
For the same reasons I don't think people shoul disclose if they have HPV, aesthetic or cancerougenous strains. It's too complicated to follow who infected whom and it doesn't matter.
For Herpes it's a more unconfortable disease so status should be disclosed.
There are assumptions that person becomes a bit more immune to warts /HPV, shedding and infecting others over the years. But it isn't really measurable in men, especally if asymptomatic.
Best thing actually is HPV vaccination for girls at age 14. But often conservative countries, communities people don't like to think about sexual activity of their young daughter. Sometimes even saying that "her daughter won't have much sex" or that "immunity will cause her having more sex".
So it's something that should be solved on a system level.
There is some risk of carying over warts to oral and anal surfaces. And a very low risk of papilloma/carcinoma there.
So if you are bothered, don't have it that much.
Okay, so I'm really confused by some of your questions. It sounds as if you were diagnosed a long time ago with genital warts, but haven't seen any warts in a very long time. And recently, a long-term partner had some abnormal paps?
First, let me address the most important parts.
HPV clears your body within 2 years for 90% of those infected. This is for high and low risk strains. Since you haven't seen a wart in years, you can assume you are no longer infected with the low risk strain, for sure, and I wouldn't worry about disclosing that.
HPV can be transmitted while using condoms. Your long-term partner may have gotten it from you, or may not have. How long ago was your relationship?
About 90% of us will get HPV at least once in our lifetimes. Most experts consider it an inevitability.
1) It seems like low-risk HPV is much more readily spread when lesions are present, or even before you see them but the virus is activated and preparing to break out. It seems as if the risk of transmitting low-risk HPV isn't terribly high once you've gone a year or more without lesions developing. Is the transmission risk/rate of high-risk known? If a man has it, or anyone really, what facilitates infection transmission?
High risk most often has no symptoms, but is transmitted when the virus is present on the skin. This is invisible to the naked eye. HPV of all types is extremely contagious.
Both low and high risk clear the body within 2 years for most of us. The longer you've gone without symptoms of low risk, the lower the chance you have of transmitting it, until it clears the body and you are no longer infectious.
2) I certainly have high risk strain 16 and one of the other high risk strains other than 18. I'm currently not dating nor sexually active, but probably will be next year at some point. What factors do I need to consider when I'm ready to have sex again?
This depends on how long it's been since your exposure. The best thing you can do is just use condoms. If you and your partner decide on monogamy, and are free of other STDs, you can decide to ditch the condoms after 2 years past your high risk exposure.
3) Am I doomed to have to have sex with a condom now for the rest of my life? What is the percent(ish) chance I'll infect a future partner with one of my high risk stains.
No, not at all. If it's been less than 2 years since you may have had high risk, use condoms, as the chances of you transmitting it are high. If your partner has been vaccinated for HPV, you can avoid the condoms (assuming you've both been tested for other STDs and discussed birth control).
4) What about non-penetrative foreplay? I also have one or two strains of low-risk hpv so in the past have avoided skin to skin, non-pentrative foreplay, but it's been years since I've seen a wart and I feel the risk of transmission is very low. Can genitals rub on each other without penetration and still pass high risk strains?
You probably don't have the low risk strains anymore. I don't know the time line for the high risk, but for the low risk, you're fine now.
Genital rubbing can, in theory, transmit HPV. It depends on how hard the rubbing is, but in practicality, intercourse is more likely to transmit than just rubbing.
5) Let's say we both have the same strains in our genitals. Can we lodge the virus anew in our throats or anus during future sexual activity?
Yes, but it probably won't do much. You can get oral cancer from HPV, but oral cancers are rare, and are definitely helped along by smoking and heavy drinking.
6) You probably don't want to answer this one, but is there a rule of thumb for disclosing your HPV status with future partners? I'm not talking about during the first year or two after diagnosis, but rather am talking about the long term responsibility after it's been years and years.
Disclosing you had low risk in the past isn't necessary, unless you are directly asked, and you want to build trust and not lie. This would entirely depend on the type of relationship it is. If it's a casual, one-night hook up thing, I wouldn't bother disclosing this. If you're going for a long-term relationship, I probably wouldn't disclose it unless asked directly. I wouldn't lie, but there's no reason to volunteer it, as it means nothing for you today.
If you are still within the 2 year time frame for the high risk, I would disclose that, and use condoms. Beyond that, there's no reason to disclose it, again, unless directly asked. I'm not a big fan of sitting down and doing the big confessional about the past, like how many people have you been with, what have you done with those people, etc. I think that way leads to nothing good, but your mileage may vary. I'm older, so what I did 20 years ago with someone has no bearing on a relationship today. If I'm directly asked, though, I might ask why they want to know, but I won't lie.
7) I'll ask this separately... are you just as contagious five or ten years after getting infected with high risk HPV as during the first two or three years?
No, you aren't contagious at all past 2 years, unless you are still having symptoms. For women, if you are still having abnormal paps, you may still be contagious, but for the vast majority of people, after 2 years, you are not contagious.
8) We have HPV for life, right? So if a woman tests positive for high risk, has a colposcopy and then tests negative for that strain, is it gone? Or is it still there but the cells the virus activated in now gone and it's not detected because the cells that still have it haven't activated so can't be detected? Then, at a later date via stress or whatever factor, it becomes active and abnormal cells are detected again?
No, we do not have it for life. If a woman tests negative, she is no longer infected. I might wait until a couple of negative consecutive tests for a woman to determine that for sure, but most likely, she is fine after.
If a woman has a positive test, a colpo, and tests negatively, then years later, tests positive again, most likely, she has a new infection.
Does this help?