Originally Posted by angel1967
I just found out that I have Hpv and I am devasted! I also read that you can give someone Hpv by skin contact like shaking someone's hand. Is this true? I really hope not because I would be very upset by giving anyone Hpv by only a hand shake! I have a 16 year old son and I really don't want him to get it from me! I don't have a boyfriend now but now I think I probably will never find anyone that will accept me because I have Hpv. Can someone answer my question? Thank you.
There are over 100 strains of HPV, over 20 of those can affect the genitals (including anus, penis, mouth/throat). The warts people get on their hands or plantar warts (feet) are caused by HPV, but are different strains of HPV than those that affect the genitals.
Of the 20+ strains that affect the genitals there are high risk and low risk. Low risk HPV can lead to genital warts. High risk HPV can lead to cancer if undetected and/or untreated.
The research I've read (CDC, AMA, etc) say that more than 80% of women have been exposed to HPV by the time they are 50 years old. If that many women have been exposed to HPV, I assume the percentage is comparable in men. Most people can fight high risk HPV so they never develop atypical cells (much less cancer). There is some disagreement among researchers as to whether the virus can reactivate later in life or not.
It is important to know if you are positive for high risk HPV. You need to make sure your doctor keeps an eye on changes to your cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, and/or mouth/throat. Be proactive; get your paps at regular intervals and don't miss any. If you think something is wrong, push for more testing. Learn what you can about worst-case-scenarios so you know what to ask for (as far as testing/screenings).
Knowledge IS power.
Take care of yourself and ask us whatever questions you have. We'll do our best to answer them.