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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » hpv

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Author Topic: hpv
pinkstarrs
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im a little bit confused about hpv, how do you contract it? is it only through sex?
Posts: 33 | From: us | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ASargent42
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Member # 28733

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Check it out:
The STI Files: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV & Herpes: Why Safer Sex Isn't Always Safe Enough

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Amanda
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pinkstarrs
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so would it be safe (no need to worry about hpv?) to have sex with someone who has never done anything sexual (just kissing) with anyone but me?
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ASargent42
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Well....the chances of someone who has never been intimate with anyone else having HPV is extremely low. However, it's not impossible for them to have it, so it's always best to be safe and get STI tests done before going condomless with a new partner (whther they've been with a lot of people or if you are their first). It also makes it easier to get into the habit of getting tested.

HSV-I (cold sores) can be transmitted non sexually though, so keep that in mind. It's as easy to transmit as sharing a drink with someone who has it.

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Amanda
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TallGlassOfClass
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***This post is not answer specific, just info***

I'm really glad there is so much more information available about HPV to the general public. When I was diagnosed just 7 years ago (months after HPV subtyping became an option), you would have thought my healthcare provider was delivering a death sentence with her serious expression and emphasis on that I would have this forever. One aspect of all the societal exposure that hasn't proven helpful is the fear without solution it has created in some individuals.

I work at Planned Parenthood and have at least several encounters each day with clients who want to be tested for HPV, learn how to prevent it 100%, or are devestated by a diagnosis. Testing for HPV is not considered part of a routine STI screen and, furthermore, there is currently no test for male bodied individuals unless they have symptoms (like genital warts) which can be visually diagnosed upon exam.

Women are encouraged to have yearly pap screens starting with their first at either 3 years after onset of becoming sexually active or age 21, whichever comes first. The pap test is looking for cellular changes on the cervix that if left untreated, could become cancerous. The majority of these changes are associated with HPV (approx 70%) but not all are and certainly not all women who have HPV will have an abnormal pap test. 90% of pap tests come back "within normal limits" and we statistically know that a far higher percentage of people have been exposed to HPV. In short, while pap tests are strongly encouraged, they are not meant to be a diagnostic tool for HPV. I mention this because some women think that because HPV testing can be done through a liquid based pap test, it is automatically part of the annual exam and other STI screening.

A partner can tell you honestly they've been "screened for everything" and they have been screened for everything offered to them via testing but there's no test for men and women are not routinely tested (not to mention the fact that you can test positive and years later-test negative due to the virus being at an undetectable level in your body)

The complexities of HPV has at times been a frustrating education process for the patients I interact with. We now know that nearly 90% of sexually active individuals will come in contact with HPV during their lives, there is no test for men except upon exam of symptoms and testing for women is reserved for only certain cases, and HPV can be spread through physical contact with areas a condom or dental dam leaves uncovered regardless of active symptoms.

[ 08-12-2008, 06:14 AM: Message edited by: TallGlassOfClass ]

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A great deal of our unhappiness can be traced back to our society's simultaneous respect for individuality and demand for conformity

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