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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: What to say, to whom?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:34 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 2
I was diagnosed with having HPV in mid March and I've been told after a follow up visit that it is not one of the cancerous strains. This website has been extremely valuable in helping me learn what was going on, what to expect, etc. Thank you so much!

I'll go for a follow up in Sept, and my ob/gyn expects me to fight it off and eventually be cleared. I haven't had any warts; there were no signs at all.

My last normal pap smear (the last one before the one in March which was abnormal) was in November of 2007.

At the time I was going through a rough time with my husband of 20 years. I had never cheated on my husband in our 25 years together, but just after my last normal test, I spent some time (a few days) with a friend/colleague of mine (who lives in another city; I'll call him Phil) who was going through an equally rough time with his wife. We did not have sex, but we hugged while we were naked. Thinking that any diseases would be passed via fluids, I was careful to not have him between my legs, but he would have almost assuredly rub his, er, member, against my inside leg area (like along the inside panty line, except there was no panty there). I've been wracking my brain trying to remember. After that Phil and I agreed nothing more would happen between us.

About 5 or 6 months later, I did have sex with a different man (who was also having marital problems; I'll call him Tim). My guess is I mostly likely got the HPV virus from him, but who knows. That would have been about year before my abnormal pap smear.

After I found out everything, I did call Tim to let him know and to say that either I got it from him or I could have had it it at the time (assuming my husband didn't cheat on me, which I don't believe he did, but...who knows) and could have affected him (we did use condoms, but at one point, he did put himself between my legs while he was not wearing a condom). I had done a lot of research on this website so it made me comfortable in what to say, etc. (again...THANK YOU!) So I called just to let him know, and make sure his wife has her annual pap smears etc. The conversation went really well, and I was really glad I called him, and he was thankful that I told him.

My dilemma is with Phil. I know you cannot tell me what to do. But I'd be interested in what you think....I've read some of the posts at least about telling current and future partners, but nothing about past partners (btw, my husband knows too and we've since cleared everything up, so we're back to being good with one another).

Phil's wife cheated on him (prior to our encounter, but he didn't know it at the time we were together -- once he found out, he got tested for STDs, and got a clean bill of health, but obviously he can't know about whether he has HPV); he's in a very messy place right now, and they may get divorced. Phil doesn't know about Tim and I'd rather keep it that way -- mostly b/c I know it would be difficult for him (long story) and probably ultimately for me -- we have to work together, albeit it not on a day to day basis, but I'm also concerned about our friendship, which has been strained more recently b/c of his issues with his wife.

But if I tell him about having HPV, and I don't mention Tim, then there are only two (well, three) alternatives: either he gave it to me or I had it previously and there's the very slim (????) chance that i could have given it to him (or the third: my husband cheated on me after that). It seems wrong to not acknowlege the fourth possibility that I could have gotten it after him. Plus there's what fuel that might add to the fire with his wife.

If we had had sex or had really fooled around more, it would be clear to me that I would have to tell him. But with the little contact we had, could the virus have been transmitted with that part of my body, if he wasn't near my vagina, vulva, etc.? It seems so unlikely from what I've read, but I'm not sure....

On the other hand, if he does divorce his wife and goes on to see other partners, if there's a chance, then I think it would be good for him to know of the possibility.....

I guess ultimately it comes down to whether it's even possible that I could have gotten it from him or transmitted it to him, under the circumstances of how we had contact. After that...I realize I'll have to figure all out on my own.

I'm sorry this is so long....guess I just had to get it all out, as many have on this website. ;-) I've been struggling this for a couple of months now, but I'm about to see Phil in person and feel like this would be the time to either tell him (in person) or forever (?) hold my piece.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:31 pm 
Site Admin

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

This is all up to you, of course, but consider the anxiety you might cause in Phil about this, especially given you didn't have vaginal contact and there's not much he can really do about all this now.

I think it's asking too much of him to disclose to future partners he "might" have been exposed to HPV and "possibly" contracted it and therefore "potentially" has an active infection....etc etc. There's no need, then, to inform him re: having him tell future partners.

Hope this helps, and please post anytime.

Best,
Fredo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:41 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 2
Hi Fredo,

Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, it is helpful, as I had not looked at it that way, and that is also a very good point.

Again, I cannot tell you how valuable this website, your responses, and the community's responses have been for me. It took a load off my mind just being able to write it all out and "talk" about it to someone. Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:34 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Quote:
It took a load off my mind just being able to write it all out and "talk" about it to someone. Thanks again!


You're welcome, and thank you for taking part in our forum. Sometimes simply having a place to chat and get things off your chest is just what you need, and I think that's one of the best purposes this message board serves. Post anytime!

Fredo

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ASHA Moderator


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