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HPV Concern

I was recently sexually involved with a female who later told me she was diagnosed recently with Cervical Cancer due to HPV (presently being treated).  I didn't engage in anal/oral/vaginal intercourse WHATSOEVER.  I fingered her without going in (her clitoris/surrounding external regions only) & touched my own genitals following.  Vaginal fluids were present. I did have FINGER contact with her EXTERNAL anal area.  There was NO heavy petting or genital to genital contact.  My only exposure was to her vaginal fluids and touching my genitals after touching her.  She also got some saliva on my penis as well.  

I read on cancer.org website'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. '  Then it states that 'oral-genital and hand-genital transmission of some genital HPV types is possible'??? How about this one? AND the ACS and others cite are that 'THE HPV that causes cervical cancer does NOT generally cause problem in males.'  but what about female I may pass it too?

Furthermore, she stated she got HPV from 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.  It that more risk to me or doesn't matter? One thing I read is that HIV may be a factor for HPV causing cervical cancer.  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 OF HPV IN PARTICULAR or HIV either?

My BIGGEST concern is am I putting my normal female partner now at risk?  Does the fact that this woman had cervical cancer or got it from a HIGHRISK STRAIN HPV put my female partner at greater risk? Is sex with her a concern? SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
4 Responses
300980 tn?1194929400
Cervical cancer is virtually always casued by HPV, the same type of HPV that is present in most sexually active women.  Your exposure is not something to worry about.  Similarly your concerns about passing infection on to others, while noble, are not anything you can do anything about nor should you worry about.  Search HPV on this site and you will see MANY discussions of HPV, its natural history and the facts related to transmission to others.  as for your specific questions:

1.  Hand genital transmission of cancer related HPV types does occur, but rarely and indeed, very rarely causes any problems in males.  
2.  Her information about how she got HPV is wrong.  Odds are, far and away, she got it through sex.
3.  Persons with HIV are at greater risk for developing cervical cancer but by no means do most persons with cervical cancer have HIV.  
4.  You are at low risk of HPV acquisition through your contact.  The risk is low.
5.  Theoretically ,your partner is a slightly greater risk.  That said and as mentioned above, nearly all women have HPV infections and hardly any go on to develop cancer from it. Even more importantly. the PAP smear is a great way to detect infections early and thereby allow early treatment to prevent cancer.  All women should have regular Pap smears.

Before you ask a lot more questions, please search this site using HPV as the search term.  It will help and you will see that your experience is neither unique nor anything to worry about.  EWH
Avatar universal
Dear Doctor,

With this in mind, I have a follow up question.  Is there any risk of oral warts/oral HPV based on this behavior?  I wouldn't have asked this except I've had a couple of unusual occurences in the mouth.  I am hypersensitive now because of this encounter so what may be a normal experience (a bump/cut/sore in the mouth) may cause unnecessary concern now.  However, I have had a canker sore or 2 and a couple of unusual sores and or bumps in the mouth recently.  Again, it may be my hypersensitivity.  Is it possible by making out with her I may have gotten something?  Is it possible by my behavior with her that I got something?  Also, is her saliva on my penis a risk of anything---it was not her inserting it in her mouth, just saliva on the penis.  I am just concerned particularly of Oral Warts and maybe the contact with the penis with her saliva if anything.  By the way, there is not much discussion of Oral HPV anywhere that seems to make sense.  Well, your answer is greatly appreciated.  Thanks for shedding light where most people are spreading bad advice!!!

Thank you!
300980 tn?1194929400
There is steadily increasing information about oral HPV but, to be honest, the current knowledge about it is a moving target.  There are increasing reports of oral HPV and problems associated with it.  At the same time, peole swap saliva a lot more than they get HPV, not to mention its consequences which occur in only the smallest fraction of persons with HPV and, in those cases, only after years.  You chances of having oral warts from the exposure you describe are tiny.  There is nothing to worry about for anything that appears suddenly or does not last.  If you note something that appears, is painless and stays for several weeks, you might want it evaluated by your dentist or a dermatologist.  Again however, the pace of these things is such that, in the unlikely event that something were to appear, there would be any major consequence to you if you did not take care of it immediately.  when these things occur, they do so very, very slowly.

Having given you this information, let me reiterate loudly and strongly that the exposure you describe is very, very low risk.  I urge you not to worry about it.  In my opinion, you've already expended too much energy on it.  I say this to try to help.  I hope it does.  EWH
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Untreated HPV was started.
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