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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: do i have to tell?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:03 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:41 am
Posts: 2
I am a lesbian who was diagnosed with HPV from an abnormal pap 7 years ago. I have had a couple of warts but do not currently have any. I have had normal paps for some time now.

my question is: How necessary is it to tell every sexual partner? I recently had sex with a girl a couple times and failed to have a talk with her about my hpv. I don't plan to be with her again, but I wonder if it's necessary to tell her that I may have put her at risk, or I almost certainly put her at risk. And since there is no absolute way to protect against hpv, would it have made a difference if I did tell her beforehand? It's frustrating to have to agonize over something that 75% of people have and a lot of them are not even aware of it. It seems like it shouldn't be a big deal, but I do feel guilty.

Thanks very much for any help you can offer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:04 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Have you ever had a hpv test along with your pap tests or have you just been followed up with regular pap testing to look for abnormal cells on your cervix? If you've never had the hpv dna test - why not ask for it to make sure you completely cleared the hpv? most folks will clear their hpv infections within 1-2 years of being infected. Chances are really good that your hpv is gone and not a risk to partners but get tested just to be sure and go from there.

betsy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:34 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi Spinach,

Review our previous discussions on HPV and responsibilities to new partners at http://www.ashastd.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=21 and http://www.ashastd.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=18.

Part of the difficulty is there is no way to know for certain if one is able to transmit HPV to a new partner at a given point. Most experts seem to think the virus is usually suppressed by natural immunity at some point and is not likely to always be contagious. Proving this is difficult, however, and HPV DNA tests are limited in this role (and not currently licensed for this). The virus does seem to be one the immune response is most often able to clear naturally, though, and a series of normal Pap tests coupled with a negative HPV DNA test result may offer evidence of such.

If you discuss this with the partner mentioned in your post, perhaps emphasize that it's been awhile since you last had either an abnormal Pap or genital warts and that HPV usually doesn't persist. It's never a bad idea for a sexually active woman, epecially those with new partners or who have had unprotected sex, to have general STI testing and regular Pap tests (most women need Pap tests regularly, period).

I hope this helps - review the links above and, along with Betsy's comments, I think you'll find some guidance.

All the best,
Fredo

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 Post subject: lesbian safe sex
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:41 am
Posts: 2
Thanks Fredo and Betsy,
I'll see about getting an HPV DNA test. It especially helps to hear that telling a partner does not mean that you have done something wrong. It doesn't have to be a confession.

Any advice on protection between lesbians? This has never made sense to me. The only way I can think to protect is to avoid direct genital contact or wear clothes, which is just sad. I've never gotten any good advice on this.

thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:20 am
Posts: 9
Location: STL MO
I do not have HPV. Although I am a male and would not directly impact your thoughts (lol), I would be upset if I was not told prior to physical contact whether signs or showing or not (this is assuming you still have it).

I think it's human responsibility to try not to spread the dieases and use preventive measures. It is also important to be honest with people and let them make their own decisions. If you act before you react, you will always feel like you did something wrong.

You should be responsible and accountable for your actions....even if your previous partner wasn't. Consider how you got it. Would it be fair to do that to someone else?

I know it's emotionally tough to talk to partners about this. If it's just a fling and she doesnt have it, she probably wont want to follow through. However, if it's a long term potential relationship, she will most likely be supportive and want to be with you.

I am here because I am a supportive boyfriend. My GF was raped and contracted it from him. She was not aware she had it till I found the leasons, but it honestly has not affected our relationship. Abstanace till the leasons disappear, then we will go from there to be safe and responsible. That's all you can do.

Good luck. I hope you make the right decision.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:48 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
spinach... depending on how old your partner is - she can look into the hpv vaccine too ( gardasil ). Currently it's approved for females up to 26 years of age who have never had hpv before. Might be well worth it even though chances are good that your hpv infection is no longer an issue.

betsy


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