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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

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Author Topic: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
floydpink
Neophyte
Member # 45822

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Last year I was diagnosed with HPV. At first I was devastated, and to this day I have not forgiven the man who gave it to me.

That being said, I had the warts removed twice, because they came back after the first treatment. Since then (its been about 6 months) I haven't have any more warts. I got the Gardasil shots, because my doctor told me it could help control the virus. I have had 2 abnormal pap tests, but my doctor told me not to worry.

I am currently in a new relationship, and we are sexually active. We have been dating for 4 months now, and my boyfriend wants to have sex without a condom. My question is: Will I give my new partner HPV if we have sex without a condom? Will he get genital warts and spread it to me again?

The last thing I want is to deal with genital warts again. As far as I can tell, they're gone and I don't want to risk them coming back.


Help!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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First of all, just so you know, what organizations like the CDC suggest to best reduce your risk of STIs is that before going without condoms or other latex barriers, both people in a couple:
• are sexually exclusive for six months
• use latex barriers for the whole of those six months, then
• each have a full STI screening.

Then, if you both are negative for STIs, the risks should be very low. So, since you got an STI you didn't want last time, I'd strongly suggest doing all you can to do your best to keep that from happening again. That's especially important since you already have an STI: having one STI can make it easier to contract others, unfortunately.

Going without condoms at four months in, especially if he hasn't also had a recent screening, can put you at a high risk.

Now, obviously, you already have HPV, so you won't be all negative. (And men can't be tested for HPV, so they can't know if they have it unless they get a wart strain and have visible warts, which many will not.) With HPV, whether or not warts are present is basically a cosmetic and comfort issue: the virus can be transmitted with or without warts present.

It's understood that some people shed the virus, but we can't figure who has and who hasn't yet, unfortunately, However, shedding it in just six months would be pretty unlikely, so most certainly for right now you should figure that you can transmit HPV to any partners. Condoms and other barriers provide around 70% protection, which is a whole lot, but even if using them you should discuss the possible risk of HPV with any partners.

[ 02-14-2010, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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floydpink
Neophyte
Member # 45822

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Ok, I will wait the full 6 months. We have been sexually exclusive for 4 months, and have used condoms for the whole of the 4 months.

I am his 2nd sexual partner, and his first sexual partner was a virgin, so I assume there is almost no way he could have any STIs.

I know that I will (most likely) always have HPV. But I am very scared of getting the warts again. They are kinda painful, especially when getting them removed.

When I go for aa full STI screening, do I ask for just that?

Also, do you think I should be worried about my abnormal pap tests? Is this just the beginning for something much worse?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, that "my previous partner was a virgin" thing really isn't anything to pay attention to. It's just not useful health information.

For one, who the heck knows if his last partner was being truthful with him: many people are not honest with sexual partners about their sexual history, especially if they feel a partner really wants a given answer. Second, a lot of people define virginity in a lot of ways: we see users here all the time who have had oral sex or anal sex -- both of which present STI risks -- and call themselves virgins.

Know what I mean? So, unless he has been tested for STIs, neither you nor he can know jack about his STI status. He had a partner before: that means he was at risk for STIs, especially if he had any unprotected sex with that partner.

Per what to ask for, you'll ask for a full STI panel. That'll cover Chlamydia, Gonhorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, Hepatitis and HIV (obviously, you don't need an HPV test). Anything else is sussed out during the basic exam you get during that panel.

Per your abnormal paps, do know that unless you have a strain of HPV you don't know about, wart strains of HPV are NOT the strains connected to cervical cancer, if that's what you're worried about. By all means, with two abnormal paps, your doc will want to keep an eye out, but they could be nothing to worry about at all.

[ 02-14-2010, 09:25 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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floydpink
Neophyte
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Ok, cool.

Thanks so much Heather.
You've given me some very helpful information!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You're very welcome. [Smile]

I realized too that I didn't make clear that you can't get the strain of HPV you already have again (we can't catch something we already have). He could only potentially introduce you to new strains.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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floydpink
Neophyte
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Ya, I was wondering about that.

If we do decide to have sex without a condom after waiting the 6 months, and if I did give him HPV, could he potentially make the warts flare up again? Or would I only get another strain? I'm just worried I'll give him HPV and then continually have to get warts removed.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You can only get another strain of HPV if he has one, just like if you have one kind of flu, you can only get another if you catch it from someone else.

In terms of the warts, it's tough to say. There are still a lot of questions without answers when it comes to warts, but in general, you can't re-expose yourself to a virus you already have, so if he gets HPV from you, that's not likely to impact whether or not you get warts again.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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