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Sexually Transmitted Diseases Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: Would my partner have hpv as well?

By womansworth
 
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hi thanks for reading my question, i recently just diagnose i got high risk hpv, and i am getting treatments. i am sure i will be good again, but now i am worry if i have hpv would my partner have it as well? they say women have higher chance to get hpv than the men, i dont want to blame him that he gave me the hpv cause i know hpv can be in someone's body for a longtime and you never know for years. so now if i have sex with the same partner again, would i have hpv again? and what would be a good way to tell him i have hpv? i am afriad he wouldn't handle the situation like me.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I asked my partner if he had HPV and he said that his last partner had a pap test and was told everything was normal, so she is clean and doesnt have hpv. Does that mean I am safe too?
I am going to get a pap test next week just to be sure, is this a waste of money?

February 20, 2012 - 7:18pm
drtenney

Hi Womansworth,

Thanks for your questions, HPV infections can be confusing for women and I want to add a couple of things to Pat's great information.

First of all there is no test for HPV in men. I wish there were but currently only women can be tested through pap screenings and the HPV DNA probe.

Like Pat wrote, HPV has hundreds of different variants and only some of them are associated with cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. We call those strains of HPV "high risk". It sounds like that is what you have and I am glad you are receiving the appropriate treatments from your doctor.

Your question about passing it to your partner and then getting reinfected is probably one of the most common questions I get from women about HPV. The simplest answer is that because HPV is a virus you will always have it, even if your cervical cells are not expressing dysplastic changes. If your partner has HPV and you have unprotected sex you are exposing yourself to whatever strain he has and you are exposing him to whatever strain you have. You cannot be reinfected with the same strain but you can be infected with other strains that you do not already have.
If you use condoms as protection they are only 70% effective against HPV infection because the virus often live on the scrotum in males.

Hope that helps and take care

October 30, 2009 - 3:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to drtenney)

dr tenny, thanks for your respond, it helps me a lot with my confusion, my partner prob habe hpv, because ive been long term with him, and if i get treatment from the doctor and use protected sex i should be able to aviod getting infected and i wont get the same hpv again from him, thats what i really wanted to know.

October 30, 2009 - 4:24pm
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

Hello Womansworth -
Yes, men can get HPV too, from genital contact -- most often through vaginal or anal sex, but it is possible to pass it to a partner just through skin-to-skin contact in the genital area with no intercourse. Most men won't ever have symptoms, but they can pass the virus on to women. Some men do get genital warts, but only about 1% of sexually active men in the United States have them at any given time.

The best way to tell him is to be straight forward, and to provide helpful information so he can see his healthcare professional and be tested.

Here's a page about HPV in men from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm

There are many kinds of the human papillomavirus. HPV itself carries hundreds of variations, according to the Mayo Clinic, and 30 or 40 of those can affect the genital area. But most HPV infections do not progress to cervical cancer. If abnormal cells develop, routine Pap tests usually can detect them at an early stage so they can be treated. Regular Pap tests are important because women with early cervical cancer generally don't have any symptoms.

Here's a very thorough overview of HPV, how it's transmitted, symptoms and treatment:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hpv-infection/DS00906

Best wishes to you as you learn more about the steps you, and your partner, will need to take. Thanks for writing to us, and let us know how things go for you.

Take good care,
Pat

October 27, 2009 - 5:20pm
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