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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:34 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:41 pm
Posts: 22
Fredo and company,

I am sure many of you have read my postings in "Guilt ridden and confused," and as such are aware of my situation. As it stands, I am going to tell my partner tonight about my situation and I was hoping that you might let me know if what I am telling her is correct or not.

1. I was not manifesting the warts when we had intercourse, so the risk of transmission was lowered significantly.

2. I wore a condom from start to finish (including foreplay, as I was in my boxers and her hands never touched my penis, until I had the condom on and we were having intercourse), and the condom covered the areas where I originally manifested the warts, so that also lowered the risk of transmission greatly.

3. I haven't manifested a wart in four and a half years so in all likelihood, my immune system has suppressed the virus, either clearing it or forcing it into a dormant state, either case meaning that it is not transmittable.

While none of these mean that the risk of transmission was zero, they do add up to mean that it was extremely low. I am also recommending that she receive the vaccine, I know that as she is 31, she is an "off label" recipient, but I am hoping that if she does have the virus, that the boost to her immune system will aid her body in fighting off the virus and it will never manifest with her. I will pay for her to receive the vaccine and will do anything I can to ease her mind and help her through.

Most things I have read state that usually HPV will manifest the warts between three to six months after infection, so I believe that she should see her doctor in the next month and a half (as it will be three months since we had sex) to receive a pap test as well as a HPV DNA test. The same procedure should be taken three months following that. Now my question is, if she does not manifest in that time, are the odds good that she does not have the virus, or that her body, in conjunction with the vaccine, has fought it off and cleared it?

Fredo, could you let me know if what I am saying rings true or if I am spreading more disinformation? I know you are busy, but a quick response would be appreciated.

Thank-you for all of your support.


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 Post subject: Good luck!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:18 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:09 am
Posts: 251
major major,

Good luck - I think you are taking the right course of action here.

Will leave to Fredo ref. accuracy of the information (although from what I have read, your outline seems to be on target).

Bear in mind that this virus is something very common that her other partners a) may have had and not told her b) may have had and may not have known themselves. The fact you know and are telling her (and you took precautions when you had sex that at the time you thought would protect her) is positive, and gives her the opportunity to take some control.

Let us know how it goes, and once again, good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 65
Location: Missouri
Majormajor, I am not an expert on GW or HPV, but you do seem on course for what you're planning on telling her.

Because you have not had a visible wart in such a long time, and you were using protection and she did not have contact with your skin, her chances of having contracted it are slim to none. She should continue to get regular checkups (i.e. Pap smears and/or pelvic exams) from her healthcare practitioner, and if she has any questions, direct her our way.

I think what you're doing takes a lot of courage and is admirable because you're doing it for her benefit. Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:58 pm 
Site Admin

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

I know how difficult this is for you and all of us here are wishing you the best. There aren't firm answers to many of the points made in your posts, but many experts do think "low risk" HPV types are more likely to be transmitted while warts are present, and that the risks of transmission has probably diminished greatly for someone who has gone for years with no additional evidence of lesions. There is no data to prove either point, but I do think it's safe to say those are prevailing opinions.

Consistent, correct condom use has been shown to reduce HPV acquisition among heterosexual females by 70% (Winer et. al 2006).

Good luck and if you don't mind, check back with us and let us know how things are going. We'll all be thinking about you.

Fredo

_________________
ASHA Moderator


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:09 am
Posts: 251
major major,

See http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/25/2645 for a study in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding condom use and HPV transmission.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:41 pm
Posts: 22
I have to thank each of you for your support. I went and saw my family doctor today. He examined my penis for warts and found none visible. He was also of the opinion that the risk of transmission without a visible manifestation was slim to none (he actually believed it to be none, but I am going to err on the side of prevalent wisdom and go with slim). He also agreed with the "longer without manifestation of a GW, the less likely the risk of infection" scenario.

I was going to tell my partner tonight. We haven't seen each other since she's been back (conflicting schedules and the fact that this virus is weighing heavy on me) and I am nervous as to how the night will play out.

As for the actual event, it is going to have to happen tomorrow as I came down with an incredibly bad case of food-poisoning today and spent much of it wrapped around the toilet (why I share these things is beyond me, but since you all know my biggest secret, I am sure not much else is sacred).

I am going to talk to her tomorrow night as I want to celebrate my birthday the subsequent evening, free of this demon and hopefully begin a new year with a much clearer conscience. I know that this is not going to wrap itself up in one night, but it is a big step along that road.

Thank-you again for all of your support. If one thing has come out of this debacle it's that one is ever alone no matter how it seems. The lot of you provide a service that is immeasurable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 10
majormajor--

You have my support and I'm here to talk if you want someone to talk to or need anything at all. What you're doing takes a lot of courage, bless your heart. I had a chat with my guy tonight too (referred to in my recent response to your last posting). All I can say is I've been tied up in knots some days, and felt okay other days.. and the days where I'm tied up and we talk it all out is when the knots go away. I feel a lot better being able to talk openly to him about everything. I wish you the best tonight, and want you to enjoy your birthday too.. because you deserve it. 0:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:41 pm
Posts: 22
I talked to her tonight and told about my condition. I told her that I manifested four and a half years ago and that there has been nothing since. I told her that where I manifested was covered by the condom. She asked me if a doctor would have me do anything else, and I said no. She said okay and was cool with it. I asked her to talk with her doctor to get her opinion, just so that all of the information was not coming from me. She smiled, told me not to worry so much and we went from there.

I am shocked and amazed. I mentioned that there was still a chance of small chance of infection, but that didn't seem to bother her either. I wonder if I told her enough? I think I did, though having her talk to her doctor seems appropriate just so that she can get more information from an unbiased source.

Thank-you all for your support and I'll keep you posted as to what happens next.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:26 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
I have to say, this particular discussion thread is one of the best we've had on the HPV message board. Thanks for coming back to update us, majormajor, and I think you're to be commended for the concern you've shown your partner. You've given her solid information.

I'm very pleased that things worked out so well and if you don't mind, at some point I might "anchor" this thread to the top of our board, as it will without doubt be a great source for others who find themselves in a situation similar to yours.

Thanks again for your contributions, and please continue to visit and post when you can.

Best,
Fredo

_________________
ASHA Moderator


Last edited by Fredo on Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Happy birthday
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:46 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 65
Location: Missouri
I wish you a very happy birthday, majormajor. I know it took a lot of courage to tell your partner and you did an amazing job of finding out as much as you could before talking to her. I'm happy for you that it went so well and her reaction was what we all wished for you. I'm glad that's off your mind and I hope your food poisoning is gone and that you can enjoy the rest of the day!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:09 am
Posts: 251
major major,

So glad for you. I hope that this puts your mind at ease. It sounds as though she is a pretty special person.

Best of luck with your relationship.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:17 pm
Posts: 10
Hi Majormajor, I appreciate your postings and updates. Being newly diagnosed with hpv/gw, I am at a loss of how to tell my new partner. The past year has been really difficult and extremely stressful for me. I finally meet this wonderful new guy and bamm, this :( . Never had an issue before. Can not even be sure if the gw was present when we were intimate or if it was because of it that I now have this problem. Words cannot even tell how bad I would feel if I gave it to him.

I did get treatment with TCA when I was told that I have this.
Now I do not know how to tell him. I know I need to but I do not want to sound like a babbling idiot either, because as uncomfortable and nervous as I am, I know I will have a difficult time telling him.

Avoidance is not helping, I know. You sounded like you had some success with telling your partner so any words of advise would be very much appreciated. My doctor is somewhat nonchalant about it, because she stated that it is very common, but I do not want to tell him that it is nothing to worry about. :? Obviously alot of us on this forum are worried about it! Hard to think of ever having a normal sex life again :oops:

I guess I just want to be able to talk with my boyfriend in a way that will promote some understanding and not leave him hating me. (I really have strong feelings for him and I think the feeling is mutual) Just think that whenever something wonderful happens to me I just ruin it :(

Sorry, did not mean to go on so much, just very desparate for help on this!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:09 am
Posts: 251
maybelle,

I was infected, broke off the relationship with the person I believe infected me (no way to tell, that was not the primary reason to end it either), and recently started a new relationship with another person. We have not yet been intimate.

I was pretty up front with him. He knew something was wrong because I kept refusing to date him. At one point, he guessed and said "You probably caught something from someone. Big deal. It happens." When I finally told him, he seemed fine with it, said he didn't want to talk about it all the time and that I was "more" than the infection. All in all, a pretty good response. I also made a mess of it, so when you tell your partner, maybe you could write out key points you want to get across and give him a list of resources (like this website). You could also do what majormajor did and tell him to talk to his doctor for an impartial view of the situation. Fredo mentions somewhere on here that this conversation is not an apology nor is it a confession, and that is 100% true. It is an adult conversation about your sexual health, nothing more, nothing less.

I have been the one holding off on sexual contact and I have been giving him information about HPV. Personally, I don't know if I will want to be sexually intimate with someone until my body suppresses the low and high risk HPV - too much stress for me, and frankly, I don't want to expose myself to potentially more type of high risk HPV by engaging in sexual contact with a new partner - seems like everyone has come in contact with some type of genital HPV and men generally have no symptoms. Also, this infection has made me reevaluate my adult sexual relationships: someone really, really has to be worth it to have sex with them. Like majormajor, I told my partner about the vaccine and that I would pay for it - note that the Gardasil vaccine is not recommended for men, although there are clinical trials underway. Some doctors will prescribe it for men, though. I suggested that he research it and see if he was comfortable with it, and if so, I would pay.

Eventually, the fact I am hesitant to have sexual contact could be a deal breaker for this relationship. However, it has been great to be with him because I have realized a lot of things:

1) People are generally more accepting than you think if you are up front with them. If they are not, you probably don't want to be with them.
2) It doesn't matter who gave who the HPV, chances are most sexually active adults will have a genital HPV infection in their lifetime, they just don't know it. At least you know and you are being responsible about it.
3) I am not sure why he is so accepting but since he is 39 he probably has a good perspective of what it means to be sexually active. Or it could be he or someone close to him previously had an STI/STD which was resolved. The point for you is that who knows what your boyfriend has been through himself in reference to STI/STD. There is a posting on the Herpes message board about a woman who was dreading telling her boyfriend she had herpes and turns out he was dreading telling her he had HPV.
4) There is more to a relationship than just sex. I mean, I KNEW this, but when you know your HPV status, different things have importance. Right now I am at the stage where I am grateful that it is HPV, it can be managed and I don't have something with more serious consequences. Not to downplay HPV, but at least there are things you can do to manage this infection.
5) These types of conversations can lead you to be closer with someone, and it also gives you an idea of their level of maturity, which is important if you are going to be together.

You WILL have a normal sex life again. The hardest time is just after you have been diagnosed. Get the warts treated and under control, and move on. Your doctor is right to be nonchalant - and you are right to research this and figure out the right approach for your medical and emotional needs.

If you are over 30, request an HPV DNA test along with your Pap to make sure you are not infected with a high risk type that could lead to cancer. Genital warts are a pain, but they are benign and it is critical that you follow up and make sure you do not have high risk HPV that could lead to cervical cancer.

Good luck telling your partner. It will be challenging, but hopefully you will have a good result like majormajor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:33 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:17 pm
Posts: 10
Hi infoseeker,
Thank you for sharing, This forum has been so helpful to me in that I feel there is no one I can tell this to yet.

I hope and pray things go well when I talk to him. As I have calmed down and by the time he returns I should be able to have a rational discussion with him...I have never be a promiscuous person and always preferred kissing and snuggling to sex. I guess it would be understandble if he bolts out the door and never returns.

The educational info offered on this site has been a godsend and has really helped to allow me to accecpt it a little better. I only regret that I did not discover this prior to being with my new man. That is what is most devasting to me. I would never want to be the one to unknowingly pass something on.

Thanks for the tip on the hpv dna test I'll ask for it next week when I go for my follow up


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:09 am
Posts: 251
Maybelle,

I will be thinking of you and I hope that things go well when you tell your boyfriend.

There is another string where I talk about what happened when I told my sister and sister-in-law to get tested for HPV along with their Pap. Turns out my sister had HPV when she was 17 and never told me and my sister-in-law had it when she was 27 and never told me. Lots of people have it but don't talk about it because it is personal, or they don't think it is a big deal or whatever.

I know how you feel about not being a promiscuous person - I didn't have sex for 6 years, and 9 months after having sex after that period of absitence (albeit first time in my life without condoms - bam, I have HPV). I think the reason I never got it before was probably because of the condoms. I have had more boyfriends than my sister and sister-in-law, who are both married and I was feeling like jeez, I am terrible here. Now, after they have told me that they were exposed, I just think - wow, it seems everyone gets this and if you are in a committed long term relationship, you are probably not using condoms - and therefore, maybe more likely to be exposed to HPV than if you are are in serially monogamous relationships using condoms. Who knows, except it seems lots of people have this virus.

Once again, good luck, let us know how it goes.


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