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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:09 pm
Posts: 1
I'd like to start by saying I'm a a male who is approximately 21 years old, and I will be 22 in five days... This saturday. I've always been very careful sexually, though a few times I have taken my risks. A few years back, I was dating a girl who had an outlook on life that just amazed me -- she saw the best in everyone and was a very kind person. However, that quickly ended when she started sleeping with my brother and two of my close "friends" behind my back, and then felt the urge to come tell me about it. I broke up with her about ten minutes after she told me, and did not speak to her again for three years. Those three years later, my relationship with the person I was engaged to had started to take its toll and was coming to a slow and painful end, and I happened to run into that particular ex-girlfriend outside of a bar and we had a chat and hung out for a bit. Every aspect of her seemed to have changed, and she seemed like she was a much better person. So, within a few months of that event, my girl and I broke up, and I started dating my ex again. I can't explain how stupid I feel for doing that, now. As it turned out, once again, she started sleeping around behind my back. I started getting paranoid of it at one point, but didn't accuse her, as I'm not the type to make an accusation without proof. I stopped sleeping with her immediately, and asked her to go get an STD test, as I was actually due for one myself (I get tested every six months) . Well, she got rather odd about that request and started spending less time around me. Then a week or so later, she was sleeping here with me. It had been over a month or two since I had slept with her, and she was getting antsy about that. While I was sleeping, she climbed up on me and started having sex with me -- as a result, I broke up with her about a minute later. I woke up and told her to get off of me, and that set her candle off pretty well. A few days later, she called me and said "By the way, I left you a little something to remember me by. I have High-Risk HPV." You can probably imagine my response, not knowing what the hell she was really talking about. A few months later, small red bumps appeared on my penis, almost barely noticeable. That right there gave me a heart attack, as I am a very paranoid person. My doctors visit was today, to be exact. They did the vinegar trick and it yielded no results, which shocked him. I had explained the entire situation to him, and he wasn't sure what the bumps were -- and the vinegar not turning them white at all had him a little confused as well, so he swabbed a swab over the bumps and is sending it in to a lab to be tested. He told me that as far as he knows, HPV is permanant, but does not neccassarily mean I'll permanantly be contagious with it. Where it stands or where I stand with it, I am not exactly sure. I'm actually completely devastated on the results, but more or less not as worried about it due to how common it truly is. He explained to me that they even found traces of it in mummies from ancient egyptian times, and that it's a very very common thing and often over reacted on. He's not entirely sure of what the red bumps are, and said it doesn't indicate a definate infection, but in the event of me coming in contact with it, he has decided to treat it as a positive infection until proven otherwise, which I agree with.

I suppose my point in writing this is to say that it's one of those issues where communication is key, and it doesn't mean you or your partner is in the wrong if one of you have it. Even if I come up negative, it wouldn't prevent me from dating someone who comes up positive if I cared about her, especially now that I'm familiar with what it is. I hope this helps someone.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:18 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hello HonestyWorks,

I'm glad you came to our forum and posted.

What a shocking way to start thinking about HPV! I'm so sorry things were just dumped on you like that.

One of the most frustrating aspects of HPV is that no HPV tests for men are widely used, and none are approved to be utilized clinically. HPV DNA tests do exist, but are done with research studies and their exact reliability with males is not known. As a result, most cases remain unconfirmed clinically.

There are some things that may be helpful for men in your position to keep in mind about HPV, however. Please realize none of this is to minimize the potential of having HPV by any means; rather, it's to offer a perspective that is often overlooked.

It is estimated that 75-80% of sexually active people in the United States have or have had some type(s) of HPV. The types found on the cervix are usually not the same kinds that cause external genital warts. Therefore, a female with cervical HPV may never show symptoms of genital warts because she may not have been exposed to the type(s) of HPV that can cause genital warts. Likewise, it would be difficult to test a male for the types of HPV that cause cervical infection because males typically do not show symptoms for the kinds of HPV that affect a woman's cervix. Men can carry these types without ever knowing it.

It's difficult to provide specific guidance for you because there is no practical way to determine 1) if you contracted HPV from your former partner or 2) if you did, is the virus currently active and contagious (more on that later).

Keep in mind that while genital HPV is very common, negative health outcomes related to the virus are not. Even among women with "high-risk" types, most will never have an abnormal Pap test as a result.

When women do in fact have abnormal cell changes detected that are due to "high-risk" HPV, they are usually treatable so that cancer is avoidable. In many cases, mild abnormal cell changes will resolve naturally, so treatment is not always undertaken. The most important thing for a current or future partner to do is to have Pap smears at regular intervals, as directed by her health care provider.

It's important to understand the immune system is thought to assert itself over time and actually reduce the virus to very low levels. When this happens, it isn't clear to researchers if HPV is eliminated completely, or simply at a point where it's undetectable. There is no way to predict when this natural suppression may occur, however, and the virus may be contagious to a new partner in the meantime. Still, HPV does not appear to be persistent in most cases.

Hope this helps. All the best,

ASHA Moderator

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