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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Message Board
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
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hpv and men

i have searched the net and havent satified my worries.... my girl cought hpv from her ex when they where togerther still and she just told me about hpv i cant find what im lookin fer and i want to know how bad hpv is and how it would effect me as her boyfreind/ husban and what health risks there are fer me in this..... and can it be passed to our kids when there born can i catch it.. is it cureable and is it dangeruous

 
Old 08-09-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: hpv and men

Hi there,

the whole profile of HPV has been really blown out of proportion over the last 10 years causing a lot of undue anxiety for people.

First of all HPV is VERY VERY VERY common and >50% of the population who is sexually active has been exposed to it at some time or another. 80% of people who are exposed to it clear the virus meaning that traces of the virus aren't detectable by testing, though we still don't know whether the virus is just dormant or whether it is totally gone. In any case, it's one of those "ignorance is bliss" type of infections because for the most part, people are totally asymptomatic. The small proportion of people who are exposed to HPV serotypes 6 and 11 get genital warts (though that is less than around 2%) and certain women who are exposed to serotypes 16, 18 or 33 are at risk for cervical cancer. HPV in men has been linked to certain other types of both genital and non-genital cancers, but these cancers are so rare anyway that the risk compared to someone who has never been exposed to HPV is only the TINIEST bit higher!

The majority of people who are exposed to HPV don't know, don't have symptoms and go on to live absolutely normal lives. Dazedandworried, if you've ever had sex with anyone other than your current girlfriend, you may have been exposed to it too! And if you didn't know you have it, you'd very likely live your life without EVER knowing or EVER having problems!

HPV transmission can only be prevented with total sexual abstinence including no oral or manual sex! Or perhaps wearing a condom and spandex shorts at the same time!

For women, having regular pap smears when they become sexually active and following up regularly in the future does a great job of screening for cervical problems. Yes, there are always exceptions to this, but they are the vast minority.

So honestly, don't worry about it. Your body is bombarded (even without having sex) by hundreds of viruses a year and you pass these viruses asymptomatically to other people and never know it. That's what your immune system is for. Don't worry and go and have responsible sex!

Disclaimer: Sex is a great thing, and I always encourage responsible sex, but remember that just because HPV transmission can't be prevented by condoms, other STIs (such and things like chlamydia) CAN be prevented. Practice (lots of) sex, but we should all be responsible about it.

Last edited by harka; 08-09-2008 at 11:46 AM.

 
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: hpv and men

HI dazedandworried, I am sorry you are so troubled and understand where you are coming from (from a woman's perspective). Yes HPV has been around long before now but I don't think that fact lessens the impact of finding out you/your partner have it. I suggest you speak with a doctor, find a good Gynecologist for your partner and ask questions------it is hard to talk about sometimes but he may have some of the answers your looking for. Also CDC website has some info. on HPV. Good luck and best wishes........

Last edited by andiesq70; 08-09-2008 at 01:47 PM. Reason: error

 
Old 08-09-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: hpv and men

Hey andieq,

I totally agree with what you're saying, and that's exactly why HPV testing for no good reason bothers me because so many people are unnecessarily suffering emotionally from a diagnosis that isn't really all that bad (though seems it) and there's nothing you can do about it. Just because we now CAN test for HPV, should we? (meaning outside of the main clinical indication for it)

 
Old 08-09-2008, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: hpv and men

Hi Dazeandworried! I totally understand your worries and concerns. Do you know if your girlfriend was diagnosed with low risk or high risk HPV?

I was diagnosed with high risk HPV back in January and my entire life has changed since then (I was diagnosed with cervical cancer 2 months later - after 26 years of annual paps that always came back normal).

If you go the the Center for Disease Control you ought to find some reliable information about HPV (and the cancers caused by HPV).

There are over 100 strains of HPV. More than 20 of those affect the sexual organs (including anus, penis, mouth/throat). Of those strains there are two major types: high risk and low risk. Low risk HPV can cause genital warts. High risk HPV can lead to cancer if undetected and/or untreated.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus, but something like 80% of women over 50 have been exposed to HPV in their lives. If that many women have been exposed to it, you can imagine the percent of male population that has been exposed. It is quite prevalent. It is fairly safe to assume that if someone has sexual contact with more than one person (at any point in their life) that they have been exposed to HPV. Fortunately, most people clear the virus without ever knowing they have it. About 20% of the population doesn't clear the virus before it starts to cause atypical cell growth.

When it comes to "clearing" the virus, there is some debate as to what that means. Some researchers say that a person's body can fight the virus and no longer have problems from the virus except that their body holds a record of having fought it. Other researchers say that a person might be able to basically send the virus into remission, but it could reactivate later in life. I don't know what is correct.

I don't know enough about HPV to know if it can be trasmitted to children during pregnancy/childbirth. I imagine the current line of thought is that it can't - but that wouldn't be a guarantee.

Currently, there is only a test to identify HPV in women. There is no test for men. I think the general line of thought is that since men RARELY get cancer (usually anal, penile, oral/throat) from HPV that they don't need to worry about it. In reality, many men have HPV and are sharing it with each sex partner who CAN develop cancer (at higher percentages), particularly of the cervix (assuming heterosexual sex).

So, my summary is that HPV is a vile virus. It is sneaky. It is prevalent. I agree that many people panic when told they have HPV and most of those people who never have a problem from the virus . . . but then there are those in the smaller percentages who DO develop cancer. I'm one of those. I am VERY thankful that my doctor did the HPV test on me. Otherwise I wouldn't know I had cancer. My gynecological oncologist said within 1 year I would have been at a higher stage of cancer requiring chemo and/or radiation. Thank God my doctor tested me and my only treatment was the hysterectomy to remove my cervix and uterus!

I hope that answers your questions.

 
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