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Living with HPV
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InnerPeace posted:
I have lived with HPV for some 7 years now. I receive, constant, but small outbreaks. It makes dating near impossible!

Here in Australia (and New Zealand) approximately 1 in 5 people will contract HPV. Does 1 out of every 5 people you know have HPV? I have a good friend of mine that I know has it for sure, but has never discussed it with me, nor me him.

On here we are the vocal minority, part of a very large majority. The people who have a conscience about the issue. Who haven't simply blocked it from our minds.

I still struggle with it today after 7 years. In a way I feel it is a somewhat deserved punishment for my wanderings. I even turned to religion. Leveticus says, 'go forth, shouting out unclean, unclean', which tends to reinforce ones feeling of being a leppa, but if you can manage to do it, there is a certain feeling of relief and inner strength that comes from it. It can be absolutely amazing to drop the bombshell within a group of people, that you have HPV, only to be taken aside later, and asked, 'what are you doing on Saturday night?'

The problem with dating and HPV, is not that you are looking for a needle in a haystack, its just that there is actually thousands of more needles there, claiming to be straw! If us, the vocal, concerned minority, can all in some way, throw ourselves upon our swords, and encourage openess about the subject, we may reap the rewards from it.

Would love to chat to anyone on the subject via means of posts on this site. Wish I could on a more personal level, but the site does permit that. Dam!
Reply
 
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aflowerpetal responded:
I typed out a nice long response to your post only to have the website hang up in limbo land and then lost the entire post before I got it posted!

But to put it short and sweet: You can count me in as one of the "vocal concerned minority" as there are many people that are aware of the fact that I have HPV. I have never really hid that fact.

As for how many people I know personally that have HPV, I lost count at 10 a few years ago.
 
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Depressed0986 responded:
As many as 80% of the sexually active population here in American will contract HPV at some point in there lifetime, however, not all people will ever develop symptoms of the virus (ie warts are cancerous cells). About 1% of the sexually active population in American at any one time is dealing with genital warts.

Although I'm not overly religious, I too feel like I have deserved this "punishment" from God. I made a mistake, and I have to deal with the consequences.

I don't mind to chat either, so keep them coming! Are you a guy or girl? How old are you? Have you had any successful relationships? I'm relatively new to dealing with the virus, and I haven't even been on a date since finding out about my condition. I'm scared to death of either having to push someone away if I am too timid to tell them, or worse, telling them and being rejected. I fear rejection probably more than I should, but it is one of my flaws.
 
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InnerPeace responded:
Am a 38 yr old male from Australia. I have openly placed the details of my condition on the local popular dating sites. Hence the feeling of looking for that needle in a haystack. I found what I thought was my 'needle', but it didn't work out, she had other issues (of a psychological nature) and rejected me. It left me devastated. I had gone through many things in my life, including a divorce, and this sent me over the edge. I seen her as my one and only chance, that I would never find another! I lost 10 kilos (22pounds) in 10 weeks, and spent 4 weeks at a mates place 800 miles away sorting myself out. DON"T MAKE THAT MISTAKE! if you should find someone and it doesn't work. I have met 2 or 3 others, but for the 'normal' reasons, we just weren't compatable.

Sadly HPV is the STD that no one talks about or admits to having. I think most people see it as simplistic, an inconvenience, not an STD, and are in denial. It is amazing how many people I know with herpes HSV. Like 1 in 5 have HPV here, and 1 in 8 have HSV, but I know tens of people with the later.

I see every turn in the road of my life, as part of my destiny. That I am being sent in a direction for a reason. It has been a bloody long and painful road so far, but I maintain hope. That if there is such thing as destiny, true love, a soul mate, then mine is out there, with HPV, or is amazingly willing to accept it.

You have to love yourself before you can love others. You have to be so focused in your own life, dreams, goals, your inner self... that you do not need anyone else to fill a void. Otherwise you end up like did. My best advice is to focus upon your career, your health, your finances, put you and your condition out there on the various STD dating sites, and let love find you.... I know that crap is all easily said lol, and I fight against my own words every day... but it is a recipe for success!
 
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InnerPeace responded:
You have told 10 ? A greater warrior than me when it comes to openess. Probably less than 10 for me, I tend more to share that information with those who have problems of a similar nature, or who I determine to be accepting and understanding of such knowledge about myself.

But it is my aim to grow beyond that, and in some way, bring others out from their hiding, and create more of a public openess about the subject, which in turn will benefit us all!

Thanks for your support Petal!

MJ
 
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aflowerpetal responded:
I'll take a try again at a longer post and maybe it won't get lost in cyberspace this time around....

I have been living with HPV for 14+ years. Yes, I have personally told at least 11 people that I have HPV. My best girlfriend(s) know, my brother knows, my ex-lovers know, and even someone I would love to spend the rest of my life with but am not currently in a relationship with knows (we are long distance friends at this point). There is only one sexual partner that I did not disclose it to and I live with the guilt from that each and every day.

When I said the number 10 in my first post, that represents the number of people I personally know that also "have" HPV, not that I have simply told. That is the number of people in my life that also have the virus themselves. It's pretty prevalent.

However, I am the only one among those who is the most vocal about having it. Some of them have their heads in the sand as to the ramifications of having it, mostly because their doctors didn't ever really explain it and they've never bothered to educate themselves on it either. Others have it, know what they're dealing with, but are in happy relationships so it affects them less, at least emotionally and from a self-esteem standpoint. I think it's hardest to deal with when you are single and "available" and have to tell a potential new partner.

I will tell you that I have never been rejected by a lover for having HPV even after telling them that I have it and can pass it on. I have always explained that I was diagnosed with it in March of 1994, had it treated and have never had any symptoms of it again but that my body most likely still carries the virus and that they could get it from sexual contact with me.

I've had three fairly long-term relationships since being diagnosed (6 years, 2 years and 8 months respectively) and each one was aware of the fact that I had HPV before we ever got sexual. So, I know from personal experience that there are people out there that will overlook a flaw if they see potential for something much deeper than casual sex. Unfortunately, for various other reasons those relationships have not lasted and I'm still looking for the one that will.

I'm always curious if they tell their new partners about the potential risk but would almost bet the farm that they do not. I will continue to disclose the risk to any potential partner as I just feel that honesty is the best way to go. Should I ever come across someone who chooses not to be with me because of the HPV, that is their decision and I'll just move on until I find the right guy for me.

So, yes, I definitely fall into your "vocal concerned minority" category! I guess because I know more women willing to fess up to having HPV than men, that is why I am always so very impressed with the men on here who not only admit to having it but who show real concern for their potential future partners enough so that they plan to be honest and open about having HPV. Absolutely impressed with that I am! It takes real courage to open yourself up to rejection but I think it's also the only way to find out just how much someone really truly wants to have you in their life too, flaws and all!

I love your screenname, InnerPeace. I strive for that same thing each and every day of my life. I am one of those women who's doing just fine on her own but would just like to share all the wonderful and not so wonderful things in life with a partner who appreciates inner peace as much as I do! I'll find him but in the meantime, I'll enjoy every day of my own life as well. Life is a gift, I plan to live it as much as possible.

 
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Depressed0986 responded:
Well I must say that you all are more bold than myself. I have personally told no one that I have HPV, and I do not intend to tell any family or friends, only future partners. My feelings behind that are that I can except rejection from someone who does not know me for me, but I would not be able to stand rejection from family or friends, and the truth is I'm scared to death to tell them.

Petal, my question to you may sound shallow, but, do you find yourself to be very attractive? I ask because I have dealt with confidence issues my entire life on the basis that I find myself to be "ugly," and my HPV infection is only another strike as to why I will never find my dream woman.

For you, InnerPeace, I think you should move to the states. If you did, women would eat up that accent! Haha again, maybe a shallow comment, but forgive me for trying to make light of the situation, its just who I am.
 
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aflowerpetal responded:
Hi Depressed

I don't consider your question shallow at all. It's a legitimate question and a good one too! No, I do not consider myself physically attractive. I consider myself to look pretty average. However, I do consider the person behind my outside package to be very attractive.

I hate to say it because it sort of makes me sound like a horrible person (since I ended all three relationships), but all three of my ex-boyfriends (that I mentioned in a previous post) still stay in touch with me and I am sure that any one of them would try a relationship with me again if I wanted that. Why? Well because I made sure each one of them knew how important they were to me. I treated them with respect and kindness, I cherished them, and I made sure they felt appreciated and cared for.

Unfortunately all three relationships eventually ended for reasons beyond my control. One was because the guy just enjoyed being treated well but was very poor at reciprocating in kind and after awhile I got tired of being taken for granted. Since I feel I deserve the same kind of care and kindness that I'm willing to give, I ended the relationship after 6 years. He still hits on me every time he sees me and his mom still wishes we'd have gotten married.

The second relationship lasted 2 years and I actually moved across country to be with him after he had to relocate there for personal/work reasons. Unfortunately, he had not been divorced very long and still had a lot of emotional baggage to work out with respect to his divorce and he really wasn't ready for a new relationship and so I eventually left. He was a very kind man, very thoughtful, but just not healed from his long marriage/sudden divorce. He has since told me that he has never in his life had someone look at him the way I did. He said he never doubted how I felt about him because it showed in my eyes. I learned from my failed marriage that everyone needs to know without a doubt that they are loved and cherished so I never hesitate to make sure my partner in life knows it! I give freely what I want in return. I simply live by the "golden rule."

My shortest long-term relationship was 8 months and I could tell that he wasn't someone I could see myself spending the rest of my life with and I wanted him to have that as much as I want that. So, I ended our relationship. We continue to be friends and he's since met someone new and they will be married this coming year. She and I have also developed a good friendship. When you truly care about someone, it's not hard to realize that you want their happiness but that you don't see yourself bringing it to them so you let them find it elsewhere. I guess it's sort of an "unconditional love" of sorts.

Now, I'm just looking for the guy who's ready for a real relationship and who can love me enough to treat me by the "golden rule." I have always been rather shy and I'm not comfortable in the role of "searcher" because my shyness keeps me from being more outgoing and attracting attention to myself. But, when someone gives me a chance by truly getting to know me and looking past the shyness and the "average looks" they find a very unique person with a heart of gold.

I can tell from your writings, Depressed, that you are a beautiful person inside no matter what you think the outside looks like. When people aren't looking for a quick roll in the hay or a showpiece for their arm, they look much deeper because they're looking for quality and something that is a treasure and will last. You'll be someone's treasure some day too and they'll look at you in a way that leaves you no doubt that you are cherished simply for being just exactly who you are. Just keep your heart open and your negative thoughts at bay. Believe in yourself and someone else will believe in you too.

HPV is not who you are, it's simply something you have. The right person will realize that.
 
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InnerPeace responded:
Some interesting question raised in another post..

Will my sex life be normal? How often do outbreaks happen? Can this one clear up and will they maybe never come back? With HPV being so common, will the kind I have if passed lead to genital warts for a partner?

Will my sex life be normal? Well you may encounter some psychological hurdles. For example: You find a partner that also has HPV. Despite having HPV yourself, you may still have some dramas dealing with the fact, that you are about to have sex with someone that has an STD, even though it is the same as yours. Also don't ASSUME that it is. There is 2 types of HPV that causes warts, and many strains and variants of those 2 types. By either person exposing themselves to a new type or strain of HPV, you could possibly cause renewed outbreaks, with greater intensity. Advice by many medical professionals to females here in Oz, is even if you have HPV, still get immunised for the virus, to prevent contracting other strains or types. If you have warts that are visible, this also causes great anxiety when it comes to having sex. You must be open with your partner, and remember.... sex is fun! For a male, you could be so affected by your condition, that it causes a form of performance anxiety. Viagra is a wonderful little intervention, and have no shame when ordering this from your doctor! You may also be asking yourself the question, "If my partner has told me about their HPV, what else do they have?" Open communication with your partner is required. Maybe both go for an STD test together to ensure you have no other STDs, or practice safe sex (which will only reduce any risk, not eliminate it).

How often do outbreaks happen? Can this one clear up and will they maybe never come back?

This varies greatly between individuals. Each persons immune system handles the virus differently. Some text books will tell you, your initial outbreak will occur 12 to 18 months from the time you contract the virus, and will slowly diminish over the next 2 to 5 years. Personally, my warts have never cleared completely or changed in severity over the last 7 years, but stress levels have been up and down, and diet less than favourable. I also suffer from Psoriasis, a genetic skin condition, which mainly affects my hands, dry and cracking skin. My HPV and Psoriasis flare ups go hand in hand. The natural treatments for both are the same:

NO STRESS HAVE FUN GOOD DIET (particularly an Alkaline diet, not acidic.... google it, you'll find it) HAVE FUN WATER 3 litres per day... any other fluids do no act as a substitute, must be water. HAVE FUN GOJI JUICE (not a lot of medical evidence to its benefits, but seems to work for me) HAVE FUN SLEEP (try to get you 8 hours of unbroken sleep each day... yeah, impossible I know!)

Did I mention have fun??? Even go to your local DVD store, and get out a few comedy movies!

Dave Allen, an Irish comedian, always used to state, 'If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?"

So keeping that in mind....

What is the difference between LOVE and HPV?

HPV is forever.

You may find that joke in poor humour or simply devastating. But it is fact. When you can see the sad humour in that, or the irony, then you are part of the way to psychologically dealing with your condition.

Even if you have not had an outbreak in 10 years, you still have HPV and are capable of transmitting the virus.

A person who contracts the virus, may not develop visible warts. This is why the virus is also readily transmitted, many people do not know they have it.
 
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InnerPeace responded:
A friend of mine has HSV2. She is very attractive, and tells all her partners. She seems to find that she has many relationships break up after about 2 to 3 months. After several discussions with her, we came to a conclusion of why that is. It seems that in her case, men are willing to take the risk of contracting HSV in order to sleep with her, but as time goes on, they see that risk as increasing. Like a game of Russian Roulette. Each time they sleep with her, they see it as a spin of the barrel, the trigger pulled, and another lucky escape. Adventually after 2 to 3 months, they see the chances of them contracting HSV as increasing, they lose their nerve, and end the relationship.

Something else to be aware of in relationships where you have told your partner you have HPV.

One little wart, about 2mm wide, and it affects are so far more reaching! Little bugga!
 
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aflowerpetal responded:
omg, InnerPeace...you totally crack me up!
 
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Depressed0986 responded:
Thanks for your advice/insight petal.
 
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Grrrl82 responded:
I found out I have HPV 6 years ago. I felt like I was walking around with a big, black "X" stamped on my damn forehead. It is hard to live with I have had protected sex and had the balls to only tell one partner that I had it. Here in America, life is a bit harder to admit it to partners. My closest girlfriends know I have it. And there must be a high incidence of infection here as well. I'm not sure of the numbers, but 4 or more of my girlz have it, and we are all apart of the same social circle. Only one of them have told me they have warts.

They are living their lives, sexually, getting married and everything. Two of them who said they don't have warts said their doctors told them it was gone. I wonder how true this could be? Not all forms of HPV cause warts. I don't know, it's hard living with it. Is there anyway to reduce the risk of spreading it? I would love to be married one day. I also understand how you feel when you say, "In a way I feel it is a somewhat deserved punishment for my wanderings." I have turned to religion too. What are we to do?
 
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Depressed0986 responded:
Well I'm relatively new to HPV, as I was diagnosed in September/October with it. I live in the US as you do too.

Some of your friends may have "kicked" the virus, because it is possible for the immune system to suppress the virus, so that you no longer show symptoms and can no longer spread the virus.

The best ways to reduce the risk of spreading the virus is to always use protection and to always have active lesions treated (Do you have one of the strains that causes warts or one of the other strains?).

You should continue to pursue a lifestyle that you would otherwise choose even if you didn't have HPV. It may be wishful thinking, but what if you meet the man of your dreams and he has HPV too?!? Either way, if someone truly loves you, they will not care about something that is simply a little unsightly.
 
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InnerPeace responded:
Culturally, many of us Australians consider ourselves to be the 52nd state of the US. I probably wouldn't consider any easier a task here admitting you have HPV. As for protected sex, my warts, as for many males, are at the base of the shaft, about the point that any well fitted condom will stop. Hence, protected sex offers little protection from HPV.

It is also very common for tight knit communities, close social circles etc, to have a higher instance of HPV. As for overall figures on a country basis, it tends to vary by little more than 10 to 15%, for westernized countries.

Despite any claims, and short of a few unexplained MIRACLES, medical science has not yet found any way to cure a virus. With a common cold, our bodies build up an immunity or resistance to the virus, but the virus as actuallly never cured. HPV is a virus, and works the same. Our bodies over time may develop a resistance or build up its immunity against the virus, but we will always have it. So even if you haven't had warts in 10 years, you still have the virus. Your chances of passing it on would be reduced, but you still can. When warts are visible, they go through a process called 'shedding'. During this time, you are the most likely to transmit the virus.

Only 2 types of warts, 16 and 18, cause warts (someone correct me if wrong on that). As for a doctor telling your friends their warts had gone... well maybe the visible signs, but the virus to a degree still remains. I question either the quality of the medical practitioners, or the interpretation your friends made of what they were told. Maybe also, and not wanting to speak ill of your friends, it is a form of denial on their behalf. Since they may have had no visible warts in a long time, the doctor can't find any, or maybe no precancerus cells on a pap smear, they are telling 'themselves' the virus is gone. That they have suffered enough, they want to get on with their lives, don't want to have to tell anyone, and if they can't see it, it isn't there!

Now, I am sure none of that has made you feel any better, and my feelings go out to you.

As for what you do?

Find your self a nice Aussie bloke, with HPV, a good job, and not too bad looking! mmmm could be able to help there! lol

But seriously, since you have turned to religion, I would encourage you to embrace it. There are many STD dating sites in the US, and also a Christian STD dating site. Seek out the same would be the advice of Leviticus within the Bible. I know the feeling of looking for 'the needle in the haystack' as well as anyone, but you may well be amazed with who you find.

In females, the vaccine, called Gardasil, prevents infection by two HPV strains that are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine also prevents infection by two strains that cause 90 percent of genital warts.

The HPV vaccine is a proud Aussie invention. He has just developed a new vaccine to fight skin cancer and melanoma. I think this guy is on the way to a Nobel prize for Medicine and Medical Research. If anyone in our life time, is to find a cure for viruses or cancer, it will be Professor Frazer.

"after it was approved for use in young women, a vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) has now been shown to be safe and effective in protecting young men as well. Merck's vaccine Gardasil cut infections caused by the four most dangerous strains of this virus by 45 percent and reduced the occurrence of HPV-induced warts by 90 percent, according to a new study involving more than 4,000 male volunteers age 16 to 26. The next step is for the Food and Drug Administration to give its blessing."

THERE LIES A SECOND OPTION: Have your partner get immunized against HPV before you have any sexual contact. Just waiting upon your FDA approval.

As said in a previous post, also get yourself immunized. Even though you already have HPV, it will immunize you against any new types or strains that you migh


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