Can I Know Who Gave Me HPV?

Who gave me HPV (human papillomavirus)? This is the question that most of us ask ourselves when we first hear the news we have tested positive for the virus that causes cervical cancer.  For one of the mujeres, she remembered asking herself that very question, all the while feeling ashamed and scared that her husband would think she had been with someone else. For the other mujer being told she had an abnormal pap test alerted her to research what can cause an abnormal pap test.

HPV is not a death sentence, but let's be honest, when you are ignorant of what it is, it sure feels like it, and it is understandably embarrassing. How do you explain it to your husband, your family and friends when you yourself have no clue what it is exactly?

There are so many myths and misconceptions out there.  Let's try and clear up some of the major ones out there that we have heard. You cannot get HPV from being unclean, from toilet seats, or from having an abortion.  Also it is very important to know that HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). While these are all viruses that can be passed on during sex, they all cause different symptoms and health problems. HPV is such a common sexually transmitted infection (STI), that quite often many women will have not know they have had it, or they will have an abnormal pap test and then it will resolve itself (generally within two years) - this is in fact the case for 90% of women according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).  Check out many of the reputable health organizations and taking into account the slight variance in statistics, HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women will get it at some point in their lives! Did you read that? So turn to the person next to you or look in the mirror. This is why it is so common! Most women and men never even know they have  HPV or that they are passing it to their partner.  For this reason it is NOT possible to know who gave you HPV or when you were exposed. There is NO way to know if your partner gave you HPV or if you gave HPV to your partner.

Having HPV does not automatically mean that your partner is having sex outside of your relationship (put down the frying pan and the chancleta). We also do not know why the virus lasts longer in some women and not others. Also, if you have one type of HPV that goes away, you may not get that type again, but you can certainly get a different type. There are approximately 40 types of different strands that can be transmitted through sexual activity. Men that have HPV usually never devlop symptoms or health problems, however some stands of HPV can cause genital warts, and also penile, anal or head or neck cancers in men per the CDC.

There is NO treatment for HPV, and usually your body fights it off naturally. Another reason why it is so common, is that while you can lower your chances of passing HPV to your partner by using a condum, HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom. Yes this means that the ONLY sure way to prevent passing HPV to your partner is by NOT having sex, but for many of you, that is not happening, so this is why you must educate yourself, make your appointments to see your GYN and make sure you have your scheduled pap, HPV tests and of course if you are able to, the vaccine for HPV!!

Every day about 1,200 people ages 15 to 24 are infected by HPV.  That works about to 4 million cases a year.

There are about 20 million Americans infected with HPV and it is estimated that 6 million new cases are reported every year.

For more information on HPV: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

1 comment:

  1. It is important that sex partners discuss their health and risk for STIs. However, it is not clear if there is any health benefit to informing future sex partners about a past diagnosis of genital warts because it is not known how long a person remains contagious after warts are gone.what is warts