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    HPV questions and concerns, kinda freaking out here
    johnsow30 posted:
    My girlfriend was just diagnosed with HPV. She went in for a PAP and they found abnormal cells. She has some lesions on her cervix and they did a biopsy so we are waiting on the results of that. The doctor told her it's nothing to worry about, but it's hard not to. First and foremost, I'm worried about her health, and to make sure she doesn't get cervical cancer. But everything I've read on HPV just leads to more questions and it sounds like they don't know much about it. Here are some of my questions:

    What does HPV mean for me as a man? I've read there is not even a test for men to find out if I have it and they only treat you if you have warts, which I do not.

    Will I have HPV forever? If I have another partner in the future, will I pass it on to them? Is it something I need to disclose to future partners? Can you only pass it on if you have symptoms?

    Everything I have read tells me not to worry too much, and that 70 to 80 % of the sexually active population has it, but it's hard not to freak out about a sexually transmitted disease, especially one I can't get a handle on.
    betsyo1967 responded:
    early detection and treatment is key to preventing cervical cancer. your gf being seen regularly and getting this detected and dealt with now is the best thing

    so what does hpv mean for you? really nothing at this point for your own health. the types of hpv that are associated with cervical cell changes do not present with symptoms for males. Hard to even tell if this is hpv she got from you or a hpv infection she has had from a previous partner that is just now progressed to the point of causing her any obvious symptoms.

    do the two of you use condoms?

    have either of you had your gardasil shots?
    Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
    johnsow30 replied to betsyo1967's response:
    No we do not use condoms. She is on birth control, and we both were tested. Honestly, I never even knew about HPV before this.

    Yes, she had her gardisil shot 2 years ago, but the doctor said she may have contracted it years ago, and the shot doesn't protect against all strains.

    I know there are not any health problems for me to worry about right now, but I worry about being a lifetime carrier, and spreading the virus. I love my girlfriend, and I am not concerned about future partners, but I am a "what if" kind of person. I don't want to be spreading a disease around. Will it go away, will I always spread it? Does it only spread if symptoms are present.

    I have a really hard time with the lack of knowledge and info on this virus. I have a tough time being told I may or may not have an STD, there is no test for me to even find out, I may or may not be a lifetime carrier, but hey, don't worry about it.
    betsyo1967 replied to johnsow30's response:
    92% of all folks who have genital hpv, clear the virus from their body within 2 years. Not likely that you'd carry it around for life if you either had it and gave it to her or got it from her. Proper use of a condom reduces transmission of hpv to a partner by 90% too.
    Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
    johnsow30 replied to betsyo1967's response:
    Thank you so much for your replies. I am feeling better about the whole thing. It just makes me wonder why there is not more attention and awareness brought to HPV.
    betsyo1967 replied to johnsow30's response:
    there is - just no one listens to it until it's been diagnosed as being part of their life .
    Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
    cricketwitch replied to betsyo1967's response:
    Where are you getting these numbers from?

    Sounds reassuring and all, but I don't know....have you read the thread on this site called "living with hpv"? People in there are saying they have had this virus and been asymptomatic for decades, but they still believe they have it.

    Maybe I'm just pessimistic about the whole thing because I've had symptoms of this for over a year, which puts me in the apparently tiny percent that even gets symptoms at all, and the even tinier percent that can't clear the virus. (I'm a woman, btw, and I have lots of visible warts on my outer labia and vaginal opening but a normal pap and no other health problems. And obviously I'm bitter about it.)

    Also I can't see how a condom would help much if this is so contagious my gyno said not to touch the warts myself or i'd spread it all over my genital region. There is still skin to skin contact even with condoms. Where is that 90% figure coming from? Are you only talking about the cervical stains?
    cricketwitch replied to johnsow30's response:
    I have the same problem with understanding how this works. I would just assume you have it if she does and you don't use condoms. It does spread even if symptoms aren't present. That's probably why so many people have it, because people have no idea they even have it and pass it around!

    As far as I can tell, you won't have this forever. But even the doctors I've talked to have different opinions on it, so I totally get what you're saying about the ambiguity of the information out there about HPV. The general feeling I get is that you can help your body defeat the virus by doing things to boost your immune system....quit smoking, take a multi-vitamin, eat healthy food, exercise. Most people can clear it up that way within two years. (That's according to my obgyn.)That's probably something you and your gf should do to beat this and reduce the risk of it developing into cervical cancer.

    In the meantime you should start using condoms to reduce the risk of re-infecting each other. If she comes back with a normal pap at some point down the road, still use condoms because you might still be carrying it.
    betsyo1967 replied to cricketwitch's response:
    I don't read the living with hpv post . It's incredibly long and it's a hassle to read through it and it came over here when webmd combined all its separate std forums last year. when folks make invidual posts I reply to them though.

    the stats come from several well done studies. Lots of hpv research has come out in the past 5 years thanks to the gardasil trials.

    the 90% reduction in transmission study comes from a condom and hpv study published about 4 years ago if I recall. It covers all genital hpv infections, not just cervical hpv infections.
    Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
    Mbb291990 replied to johnsow30's response:
    I understand your concerns, I just found out I have HPV this morning, and I am having trouble finding out valid information about it also.

    I also got the Gardasil shot before I was infected. It only protects 4 of the 100 strains so I think the way it is marketed is completely misleading. I personally think it was a waste of my money.
    MoreHPVInfoNeeded replied to betsyo1967's response:
    I would have to disagree with the above reply. There is no definitive proof that your body clears the virus. From literature and doctors, there are two major theories being debated about HPV and how the body deals with the virus. 1st theory is the dormant theory which parallels the view on most viruses out in the world, that your body can fight the virus into remission/dormancy. There are times when the level of the virus is so low in your system that you will test negative for HPV but other times when you are fighting a cold, stress, or overworked and your immune system is working harder, you may test positive for HPV again. The other theory is your body's immune system being able to fight the virus and rid your body of the HPV, this seems unlikely due to the nature of viruses, for example mono, chicken pox, etc. Viruses are an inevitably part of human evolution. I think we are very fortunate to be alive during such a scientifically and technology progressive time in which new research and tests are assisting us in early detection thus early prevention of the ramifications of these viruses.
    MaxMc responded:

    Did you ever learn any more info about your situation? I am in a similar situation where my gf found abnormal cells during a PAP.

    Like you, aside from being concerned about her health, it is not clear in reading about HPV what the impact is on me as a man in terms of my chances of being a carrier and for how long. For example, does her having the abnormal cells now mean that she is currently actively infected by HPV or could it be a side effect of an infection she had (and got over) years ago and is no longer contagious herself?

    Although they say 80% of the population has had it, it sounds like most do not get the 2 or 3 varieties that can cause cervical cancer. Does that mean that being a partner with somebody that had abnormal cells makes you a carrier of that type specifically and thus a bigger concern than the other types that most people get and get over without even noticing?

    Is the type that is more likely to cause cancer one that is harder for the general population to get rid or will most men and women get over it within a year or two (and no longer be a carrier) and only people susceptible to it don't get over it.

    I realize that there is very little health risk directly to men, but like you, my concern is being a carrier and specifically a carrier for the variety that has a higher chance of causing cervical cancer.
    jambler replied to MaxMc's response:
    I also am in the situation where my girlfriend has received abnormal pap results, and found out she has HPV. Ive taken all discussions and websites into account, and am beginning to feel a little better about this news. Neither of us have any visible symptoms, and we are both young adults with no other major health issues and strong immune systems. A concern that I have, however, that I havnt noticed being touched on in any articles Ive found, is if the virus is transferable orally, and also if its possible to transfer it non sexually, like from sharing a bathroom with a roommate (same toilet, etc..). I had heard that my roommate (female) cannot get the virus by using the same toilet as me (male) as long as I don't have warts. Is there any accuracy in this? Has anyone found trustworthy information on the topic, both for oral transmission, and by toilet use..?
    kevj2 replied to jambler's response:
    If 1 partner has genital HPV, there can be oral transmission if the other partner performs oral sex on them.

    For those looking at using condoms to reduce their risk, female condoms (they've been improved since the old ones) cover more skin than male, so may be useful to reduce transmission even more. As an added benefit, they feel MUCH better for the man, and don't seem to make much difference in sensation for the woman
    cjmmfgogetyoguns responded:
    From a male view, i dont see how u can have unprotect and not have symptoms. You sound a bit nieve, i caught the virus from my girl an we always used a rubber. Deep sex is danger. And u gotta be careful with razors, especially down there. One cut and youll grow a wart 4 sure. Youre lucky, but u gotta be super careful now. Hopefully theyll find a more advanced way to get rid of this bs virus cause its life changing. Im lucky too my situation sucks but its small. I need to man up and get treated. What freaks me out is penile cancer and there is no info about that bs really.

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