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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:26 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:02 am
Posts: 4
Hi, im 24 years old and I have just been diagnosed with high risk HPV. I got a pap smear last year in december and they told me that the results were abnormal, they told me to come back in 6 months to see if the cells cleared on their own. I went back this week and when I was getting checked she informed me that I had HPV. I was extremely shocked and caught off guard. She didnt act like it was a big deal and said it was very normal for me to have contracted this. I was so surprised that they had not called me sooner to inform me that they had ran an HPV test and it came back positive. I have only had 2 sexual partners and one of them is my boyfriend now. He was the one that infected me because my previous boyfriend was a virgin as was I when we first had sex. I have always been extremely careful and made my new boyfriend get tested for all STDs before we had sex, which he did, but I now found out that there is no test for HPV for men. I have gotten the first two gardisil shots but I guess I got them too late. I am very angry and depressed now. I have feelings of hate for my boyfriend and I really feel like this is going to ruin our relationship, Im sacred to touch him and I cant even imagine having sex with him again. He is being extremly supportive but I just cant get over the fact that I am paying for his mistakes. So, here are my questions.

1. I have been reading a lot about becoming re-infected with HPV, what does that mean? I thought that once you have the virus you have it forever. How can I get reinfected if my boyfriend and I decide to have sex again. Will I be the one reinfecting him or will he be reinfecting me?

2. What about oral sex? Does that mean if I give him oral sex I can get HPV in my mouth? Or vice versa?

3. I also read that HPV is skin to skin contact. His penis has touched my anal area before does that mean that I can get HPV in my anus and get anal cancer in the future because women dont normally get anal pap smears. Would you recommend that I start getting them now because I read that HPV can spread to your anus from cervical discharge as well.

4. If my infection has cleared what are the chances of it coming back in the future?

Any other advice that you can think of would be very much appreciated.
As of now I am currently awaiting my results from my follow up pap smear, they should be here next tues. I am keeping my finger crossed.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
1. I have been reading a lot about becoming re-infected with HPV, what does that mean? I thought that once you have the virus you have it forever. How can I get reinfected if my boyfriend and I decide to have sex again. Will I be the one reinfecting him or will he be reinfecting me?

Couples that share HPV are thought to be at low-risk of reinfecting each other, so the two of you shouldn't be afraid of being sexual. Some couples feel more comfortable using condoms, and a couple of small studies suggest that condom use helps HPV cell changes clear a bit more quickly than they would naturally. This is unproven, though.

2. What about oral sex? Does that mean if I give him oral sex I can get HPV in my mouth? Or vice versa?

Oral sex seems to be a risk factor for HPV, but oral diseases related to HPV aren't detected very often. No one can tell you what to do here: there's little risk of something like a head and neck cancer developing from HPV. Here too, using condoms is an option.

3. I also read that HPV is skin to skin contact. His penis has touched my anal area before does that mean that I can get HPV in my anus and get anal cancer in the future because women dont normally get anal pap smears. Would you recommend that I start getting them now because I read that HPV can spread to your anus from cervical discharge as well.

Possible, but I think this is more of an issue with those who have insertive anal intercourse. Anal cancers are very rare, even more so than cervical cancers, and anal Pap testing is controversial.

4. If my infection has cleared what are the chances of it coming back in the future?

Most HPV infections clear in 6-24 months and recurrences beyond that are uncommon unless the immune system is weakened for some reason. Uncharacteristic of the virus to cause issues years after the immune system suppresses it.

Any other advice that you can think of would be very much appreciated.
As of now I am currently awaiting my results from my follow up pap smear, they should be here next tues. I am keeping my finger crossed.

I'd say maybe cut your partner a little slack. You mentioned how you're "paying for his mistakes" and I know it can feel that way, but the reality is almost all sexually active people (75-80%) have one or more HPV infections over their lifetimes. Having HPV is not something that happens because you do something wrong; it's an almost unavoidable part of being human and having sex.

I hope things work out. Good luck.

Best,
Fredo

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