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Old 01-18-2010, 09:11 AM   #16
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by sarberrie View Post
Unfortunately, he felt as you did, that he should have been told about this before we started having sex and ultimately ended the relationship because he thought maybe there were other things I would hide from him in the future and said what I did left a bad taste in his mouth. The breakup hit me really hard, and while part of me still defends my actions on not telling him, I learned a huge lesson from the experience and now plan to disclose my past history with HPV to future partners. Oddly enough though, about a week or 2 after we broke up I found a bump which turned out to be a wart (which was caused by a different strain of HPV than what I already knew I had) which potentially came from him.......so, go figure.
This is why this whole situation annoys me. Because HPV has been such a big deal in my life, it's bound to come up. The guy is bound to wonder why in the heck I go to the gyno so much. Or it would come up when I'm pregnant and tell the ob/gyn that I've had a CKC. Can you imagine if that's when your partner was finding out?? So it's not a tough decision for me. I'd have to reveal it before we ever had sex, or risk that the guy will be uninformed about HPV (which he probably will be) and that he'll freak out and think I'm some horrible person for not telling him. This world just sucks sometimes.

 
Old 01-18-2010, 01:39 PM   #17
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

I agree, the world does suck. And HPV sucks. There's a lot of gray areas with it. One of the main reasons I never disclosed my high risk HPV before sex was because it was not longer a huge part of my life. I had the abnormal pap, had the colposcopy and my results showed very very low grade cell changes. Obviously, had the abnormal cells been more abnormal and required removal, it would have been a larger part of my life, and I don't doubt I would have said something, but my doctor had laid to rest my fears and assured me it wasn't necessary to disclose. Clearly I regret taking her advice, but I know that it is impossible to go back in time, so I have chosen to only learn from it. I'm currently on a dating website and the first lines of my profile say "I want to disclose that I have a past history with HPV, so if this in an issue, please go on to the next profile." I figure better get it out there before having even 1 date, let alone sex. But here's my question........does it ever become ok to not tell? I mean, what if I have normal pap smears and no signs of HPV for lets say 3yrs......do I really still need to inform future partners? Part of me thinks no, I do not. But then another part thinks well what if i am with someone and the HPV appears......do I lie and pretend I've never dealt with it, or do I come clean and say I've dealt with it before and risk losing the relationship? As of now, I'm telling anyone I may potentially date, but I just wonder.....will there be a point when I don't really have to tell? Or should I just tell forever, even if I've been declared cleared of the virus?

 
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:13 AM   #18
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by LilyL21 View Post

Informing all her future partners for forever is probably the right thing to do if she doesn't get to consider her own happiness in her moral equation. I don't know about you, but being completely selfless isn't something I require of people.
I'm not asking them to be selfless. I'm asking/expecting that the person I would share the most intimate part of my life with to be open and honest with me, because they care about me. And I would do the same in return.

For me personally it's a moot point because I've been happily married for 12 yrs but if I were divorced/widowed would I tell about the HR-HPV? Yes.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 08:56 AM   #19
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by sarberrie View Post
But here's my question........does it ever become ok to not tell? I mean, what if I have normal pap smears and no signs of HPV for lets say 3yrs......do I really still need to inform future partners? Part of me thinks no, I do not. But then another part thinks well what if i am with someone and the HPV appears......do I lie and pretend I've never dealt with it, or do I come clean and say I've dealt with it before and risk losing the relationship?
This is another example of how the world sucks: we have tests to determine that a woman is HPV positive, but that test will not tell her when she's negative. It requires 5,000 copies of HPV DNA present to be positive, so a negative test just means there are fewer than that. I think the strain-specific testing will tell you if they find any HPV DNA, but I'm not sure about that one. Either way, they both only test your cervix.

There was that one study that showed that 91% of people clear the virus within 2 years. So I guess after 2 years, you can be pretty sure it's gone. (At least as gone as it can be.) At that point I would put yourself back in the category of people who have unknown HPV status and would probably say that you need to use your own judgment to determine if/when to tell. Did you see that new study that found that 56% of young adults in a new relationship acquired an HPV infection?? Seriously the word needs to get out that a partner who's never been diagnosed with HPV is simply not safer than one who has.

I don't think pretending you've never had an HPV issue is really the right thing to do. I mean, if the guy straight up asked you before you had sex whether you've had any HPV issues, I think the right thing would ne to tell him you have. (Either that or to tell him it's none of his business, which would probably make him run faster than if you had told the truth.) As for it coming up later, a new HPV issue is very likely just that . . . an enitrely different infection. I don't think there is any reason to bring up the past HPV infection . . . but then again if it comes up, you probably shouldn't lie. I guess that's why it's risky not to say anything up front!

 
Old 01-19-2010, 09:04 AM   #20
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by francegirl View Post
I'm not asking them to be selfless. I'm asking/expecting that the person I would share the most intimate part of my life with to be open and honest with me, because they care about me. And I would do the same in return.
There's a big difference between being open and honest with people you are in relationships with and being obigated to tell every person you have sexual contact with that you have previously been diagnosed with HPV.

I know you expect the same in return, but without HPV testing for men, you aren't going to get it.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 04:53 PM   #21
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by LilyL21 View Post
There's a big difference between being open and honest with people you are in relationships with and being obigated to tell every person you have sexual contact with that you have previously been diagnosed with HPV.

I know you expect the same in return, but without HPV testing for men, you aren't going to get it.
Well of course not since they couldn't possibly know if they had the hi risk strain....

What I am saying is that MAN or WOMAN, you have an obligation (call it moral obligation, or whatever you want) to tell someone that you are sleeping with that you have had genital warts! I don't think that's unreasonable in the slightest.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 07:08 PM   #22
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

well, like I said, I'm on a dating website and disclosed my history with HPV right in my profile. figure I can get it out there before even 1 date occurs and not have to worry about stressing over when and how to bring it up.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 07:14 PM   #23
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

[QUOTE=What I am saying is that MAN or WOMAN, you have an obligation (call it moral obligation, or whatever you want) to tell someone that you are sleeping with that you have had genital warts! I don't think that's unreasonable in the slightest.[/QUOTE]

I do agree with that. It's one thing to maybe not disclose having had high risk hpv at one time, especially because the chances of it affecting men are very very low. But warts is another story. For example, about a week after my boyfriend dumped me over the whole not telling about high risk HPV i developed 2 small warts......now I know I cannot say for sure that they came from him, but it definitely is a possibility. He had never had a wart before, so he couldn't have warned me or anything, but is it possible that one of his past partners developed warts and in turn never told him? Yes of course, because the attitude of most doctors is that because you can't partner trace, there is no need to disclose the information. And I will definitely tell future people that I have had those 2 small warts. Because you never know if the virus is fully gone or not and I would feel awful if I never said anything and then they developed a wart even if I didn't currently have any. So not only is it important to tell future partners, but I would even say to go back and tell past partners as well. Maybe not all of them, but at least your most recent past partner.......

 
Old 03-02-2010, 08:16 PM   #24
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

I see a lot of talk here about Women feeling the need to disclose or not disclose... but what about the other way around? My current girlfriend told me she had HPV after we had been close for a long time. So its noted... I didn't judge her on this, and it didn't make me care for her any less. She told me because she had an abnormal pap and is currently having the entire biopsy business done. Its sad and scary, but we are going through it together....

Now lets say some day we break up. I know that I have been with a woman who had the HPV strain that can cause cervical problems, which means I have it too. Do I need to inform every women I'm about to be intimate with that I have the HPV strain that could give her cervical cancer?

Lily, if I go by what you have been saying, after 2 years of not being with her, I should not be concerned about this. I'm not sure I can be okay with that. Passing on genital warts is one thing. Being a walking carcinogen is another...

Clearly I'm not in this situation at the moment, but its worth mentioning since there is so much talk of disclosure.

 
Old 03-03-2010, 08:39 AM   #25
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by sv650 View Post
Lily, if I go by what you have been saying, after 2 years of not being with her, I should not be concerned about this. I'm not sure I can be okay with that. Passing on genital warts is one thing. Being a walking carcinogen is another...
All I was saying is that after 2 years, you are back in the status of "HPV status unknown" because at that point no one can really tell whether you are contagious. (And actually I would start counting from when you first had sex with her since if you were going to get HPV from her, that's probably when it happened.)

After 2 years, you might still be contagious, but everyone on the planet who's ever had sex also might be contagious for HPV. So, as long as you don't lie to your future partners and tell them that you are virgin, they should be aware that there is some possibility of HPV transmission. They should be aware of that there is that possibility anytime they have sex ever. Whether the are actually aware is a different matter, but I don't think it's fair to put the burden of educating the world on HPV on those people who are unfortunte to suffer symptoms from it. Those people are like 90% women which also bothers me.

But I was only speaking to what you have to disclose. What you think you should disclose is entirely up to you. If you feel the need to tell future partners about it, go right ahead. There are definite upsides to that like you don't have to keep secret and if it comes up at a later date, they don't have a reason to get mad at you. Also, you could give future partners time to get vaccinated before having sex.

 
Old 03-12-2010, 09:15 PM   #26
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

I'm sorry you had to experience this. It is possible for you to pass HPV on to a future partner, even if you have no symptoms yourself. My last partner knew he was exposed to low risk HPV (that causes genital warts), but because he had no symptoms did not tell me. I contracted low risk HPV and also found out recently that I also have a high risk strain due to an abnormal pap smear. I ended our relationship, mainly because I was troubled by the fact that he didn't take the time to educate himself about HPV and the potential effect it could have on his future partners.

Honesty is the best policy. Tell your future partner before you have sex with them. I just told someone I started dating recently, because I feel the relationship could go somewhere. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. But he appreciated my honesty and I really think we have a solid, honest foundation to build a relationship on now. If the person truly cares about you and wants to build a relationship with you, they will understand. But give them the chance to make their own informed decision.

Good luck to you!

 
Old 04-27-2010, 09:13 PM   #27
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

I am sorry to hear about your situation. But like all said she might not even have it. Unfortunately there is no test for guys to find it. I mean I understand what she did. I got it from a guy. He never bothered to tell me.. and now I am stuck with it. Fact is there is no point in blaming.. just be aware about facts and take precaution.

 
Old 05-09-2010, 09:50 PM   #28
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

I'm going to post my experience that's been haunting me for months. I was diagnosed with warts in October 2007. The outbreak was very mild. I had two of them treated and the rest, which were too small to treat, disappeared on their own within a couple months. I hadn't seen another trace of them until about September last year. I had a bump at the bottom of my butt that remained there until I went to see the gyno in December. She couldn't tell me for sure if it was a wart or not, but she treated it anyway.

I didn't notice the "wart" was there until after I'd started a relationship with someone I met in August. We had already had sex by the time I discovered it was there. I hadn't told him about my prior HPV infection because it had been two years since I'd had my one and only issue with it, so I figured I was in the clear after all the literature I'd read on it... and I didn't feel the need to disclose it. But by the time I discovered the bump, we'd already been intimate. And I kept a lid on it for the remainder of the relationship (which ended because I left to go back home, and we have a significant distance between us).

I only heard from him once, about 3 weeks after I got home, and that was six months ago. So I'm repeatedly haunted by the idea that he might have contracted this from me because I never told him.

It's a scary thing to disclose to partners, because you just don't know how they're going to take it. Although warts are NOT a big deal (because they're harmless), they do come with a stigma, and we suffering with them already know that. Think about how we felt when we were diagnosed, and how we wished we'd had the choice. I hate that I have to acknowledge I live with an STI, whether or not it came back.

Now if I hadn't seen a trace of the warts in a decade, like your girlfriend... well you can't really blame her for not saying anything. She wants to live a normal life like everyone else and forget that she ever had it, and quite honestly, not having seen warts in 10 years is probably a good sign. But because there is so little information on HPV and whether or not the body ever actually clears it, it makes for a very grey area when it comes to telling partners. Because you're risking rejection over a medical mystery that most people contract at some point anyway, it's tough when it comes to deciding whether or not to tell. The only catch is if your partner develops them as a result and you have the guilt on your shoulders that you never told them about it so they'd have the choice, like you wish you would have had. But then again, who's to say he didn't contract them from someone else and only develop symptoms now? I mean, there's not enough matter-of-factness about this virus, so it makes it extremely difficult to make the judgment call.

I don't know if this guy I was with developed them and maybe that's why I never heard from him. But I loved him with all my heart and I'd feel awful if that happened. I feel awful anyway. It really comes down to what you'd want if the tables were turned. That in itself will tell you what the right thing is to do.

 
Old 05-11-2010, 01:49 PM   #29
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

Lily, your posts are awesome and super informed. Have helped me, a male, on a rough day.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 04:49 AM   #30
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Re: My girlfriend just told me she has HPV

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Originally Posted by sarberrie View Post
I agree, the world does suck. And HPV sucks. There's a lot of gray areas with it. One of the main reasons I never disclosed my high risk HPV before sex was because it was not longer a huge part of my life. I had the abnormal pap, had the colposcopy and my results showed very very low grade cell changes. Obviously, had the abnormal cells been more abnormal and required removal, it would have been a larger part of my life, and I don't doubt I would have said something, but my doctor had laid to rest my fears and assured me it wasn't necessary to disclose. Clearly I regret taking her advice, but I know that it is impossible to go back in time, so I have chosen to only learn from it. I'm currently on a dating website and the first lines of my profile say "I want to disclose that I have a past history with HPV, so if this in an issue, please go on to the next profile." I figure better get it out there before having even 1 date, let alone sex. But here's my question........does it ever become ok to not tell? I mean, what if I have normal pap smears and no signs of HPV for lets say 3yrs......do I really still need to inform future partners? Part of me thinks no, I do not. But then another part thinks well what if i am with someone and the HPV appears......do I lie and pretend I've never dealt with it, or do I come clean and say I've dealt with it before and risk losing the relationship? As of now, I'm telling anyone I may potentially date, but I just wonder.....will there be a point when I don't really have to tell? Or should I just tell forever, even if I've been declared cleared of the virus?
HPV really sucks, not only for the risk it carries but also the fact that doctors tell you you don't have to tell, you take the advice and you are forced to suffer the consequences. I dealt with that. I was friends with an ex-boyfriend after our breakup and now we are enemies forever. I thought supplements would kill it, so I just took those and never thought about it again, forgot about it by the time I dated him. He said, "To act like it didn't even cross your mind, sorry something like this is not so easily forgotten." I didn't tell him that my doctor told me there is "a question whether to tell" because I have people close to me in the medical field and wasn't sure if he was going to say something to someone being how angry he naturally was. And he wasn't going to believe that I heard from my doctor upon initial diagnosis that it doesn't hurt men, as he read ALL about the cancer risks. My doctor told me that every woman would test positive at some point, so I ignored it and moved on with my life. I figured based on what I was told that I wasn't any more likely to infect a prospective partner than the next woman.

I'm still blocked on Facebook. And after the incident, I had at least two more doctors tell me I didn't have to disclose HPV!!! What gives? Like I'm going to put myself or someone else in that position again. My ex, I hear, is now engaged to be married. So I am in the added position of feeling guilty that now another woman may have to face the risks of HPV.

Do these doctors know what they are doing to patients (and their future partners and those partners' future partners) by telling them to presume that everyone has HPV anyway (the idea I took with me into that past relationship I describe)? They are encouraging the spread of this virus. And they are opening up otherwise well-meaning people to the understandable anger of their partners and the destruction of relationships and post-relationship friendships. They put these people in an awkward position of explaining themselves while they are walking on eggshells. They are even opening up these otherwise well-meaning people to face criminal charges in some states! There are victims not only among the partners but among the transmitters as well. I hope Dateline gets wind of this.

 
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