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Avatar universal

should boyfriend get checked after my treatment?

I was diagnosed with high-risk hpv in June of this year after an abnormal pap test. I had cryosurgery first in July 11 and the second one was Sep. 11. Doctor said I needed two cryos. I had my check-up yesterday and doctor said that my cervix is still healing. She strongly advised that my boyfriend get checked or tested for hpv because she is concerned that I might get reinfected after my treatment. She said that she'll check my BF using the microscope (apply acetic acid first, etc.) then prescribe Aldara cream if found positive. I've done some research thru the internet before and I learned that there is no test for men unlike the hpv DNA for women. My BF and I would like to know if this test is necessary or useful at all? Also, is it futile because we've been having sex for a year now. Is there really a chance that we can keep re-infecting each other? How about the chance of developing immunity to hpv? We want to be enlightened. Your opinion will be greatly appreciated!
6 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Congratulations having such a level-headed, understanding of HPV.  You are much more up to date than your doctor!  Most experts, including CDC, advise against routinely evaluating the sex partners of people with HPV or genital warts.  The tests your provider is suggesting are useless:  even if your BF has asymptomatic HPV, he definitely does not need Aldara or any other treatment, unless he has overt, visible warts that he can see himself--which is unlikely, since your HPV infection probably is not due to a wart-causing strain.  And you are absolutely right about your sex life with your BF:  Clearly you already are sharing the HPV infection.  You cannot get reinfected by it; almost certainly you are (or soon will be immune) to reinfection with the same strain.  And it will never cause him any harm.  So what's the use?

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--

HHH, MD
Avatar universal
I thought I would lend some information to you until Dr H. replies.  I too was also diagnosed with high risk hpv in june, but I've had the virus now for 5 years, but have had no symptoms and all pap smears after 2001 including the one this june 2006 was normal.  I had the same question regarding the passing of the virus back and forth to each other and this is what Dr. H had to say:
"In general,people probably do not "ping pong" HPV infection back and forth. This isn't know for sure, however. Indeed your partner may still be infected, but it is more likely he has been infected but no longer carries the virus and is immune to catching it from you again. There is no way to know, but it probably doesn't matter"
Currently there isn't a test for guys to take to determine if they have HPV or not unless they have visible signs of warts. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much Dr. H for your helpful reply...also to poco for your comment. Dr. H., I forgot to mention that same doctor insists that I should get the new HPV immunization. It's not going to be covered by my insurance so I'll be paying cash (over $2000) if I do the 3 shots as she had advised. Is this immunization necessary? I already have hpv so will the immunization help? Again, thank you so much for your precious service! More power to you!
Avatar universal
The new vaccine won't protect you from HPV if you already have it.  However it does protect against I believe three different strains so it would protect you from any you haven't already been infected with.

I'm not a doctor though so I'm not able to advise you medically.   In any case, I would shop around if you do decide to get the vaccine.  It shouldn't cost $2000.   Your doctor's cost is probably around $300-$400.  My understanding was that was total but even if it's not, the mark-up to get to $2000 seems too high.

Good Luck!
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The vaccine advice is a close call.  The vaccine covers 4 HPV types; statistically, it is a good bet you already have been infected with 1 or 2 of the, although there is no way to know which ones.  It's probably a good idea.  But this also depends in part on
your anticipated sexual lifestyle in the next couple of years.  If neither you nor your partner is likely to be having other partners in the foreseeable future, there is no hurry in protecting yourself against additional HPV types.

$2000 is an incredible rip-off by somebody--your doc's office, the vaccine supplier, etc.  The retail list price is $120 per dose, total $360.  Paying modestly for office visit, administration costs, and record keeping probably justifies $500 or maybe even $600, but not much more. If you have confirmed that price through your doc's office, in my opinion you would be justified in making a complaint to the local or state medical society.  Anyway, there is little doubt that most insurance companies eventually will support HPV immunization.  (A group of ObG providers in Washington State recently told me they believe about half their patients already are covered.)  So you probably can sit tight for a while and periodically check with your insurance company about it.

HHH, MD

Avatar universal
Thank you so much Dr. H for your reply. Now I know that there is no hurry. I also appreciate your information on the price. You've been a great help. Also thanks to the post/comment of 'help-concerned'.
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