Male exposed to HPV
November 2, 2004 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Possible-STD-filter: I recently slept with a woman a few times. She just learned from her doctor (and kindly notified me) that she has Human Papilloma Virus (the nice way of saying "genital warts"). We had very safe sex the couple of nights we spent together, but each link I've found talks about how condoms don't provide 100% protection and how men are effectively just carriers. Further, no tests exist to determine whether men have it.

So what do I do? I've seen no symptoms arise in the month or two since we slept together, and while I'm not fighting off teeming hordes of nubile women, I am single and would like to retain the option to round the bases when and if the opportunity occurs, without worrying about endangering their health (HPV apparently can lead to cervical cancer in women).

This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me so grateful for AnonyMe's existence... except I can't imagine responding to it myself.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Though it doesn't answer your question directly, you may want to check out this previous thread on HPV.
posted by widdershins at 2:18 PM on November 2, 2004

Yeah, take a look at that previous thread. Someone there called HPV the "common cold" of STDs and I'd agree with that.
posted by vacapinta at 2:19 PM on November 2, 2004

As a male, there's little health risk to you even if you carry the HPV. From what I understand, it's possible that you carry the virus even if there is no physical manifestation of it. I hadn't heard that condoms weren't 100% effective, but I guess that's feasible. However, you can easily pass this on to another woman, which puts her at high risk of cervical cancer. So if this relationship doesn't work out, you are on your honor to inform your next girlfriend of this. You don't want to fuck around (so to speak) with the truth on this issue.
posted by psmealey at 2:31 PM on November 2, 2004

... I meant it's possible that you already carried the HPV before you even met this woman.
posted by psmealey at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2004

just to reiterate the "common cold" of STD's:

"Nearly three out of four Americans between the ages of 15 and 49 have been infected with genital HPV in their lifetimes"

and as for what you should do. well, there isn't anything you can do. you can't get tested for it so there is no way to know for sure that you have it unless you start developing systems (warts). note that not all the strains of HPV cause warts. here is some more information on it. pretty much, if you have been sexually active with more than a few people, the chances are pretty high that you have been infected. it is not an impossibility that you have already been living with HPV for awhile now.
posted by chrisroberts at 2:44 PM on November 2, 2004

On a related note, I just saw a little blip about the development of a vaccine for cervical cancer. Wonderful times we live in, folks.
posted by padraigin at 3:15 PM on November 2, 2004

On a related note, I just saw a little blip about the development of a vaccine for cervical cancer.

As predicted here by some horn-tooter.

posted by TimeFactor at 11:02 PM on November 2, 2004

also, as it states in the other thread, most strains of HPV (of which there are hundreds) do NOT cause warts at all - and most folks who contract HPV clear it from their own immune systems with time. Only 8% of folks with HPV get warts.
posted by tristeza at 9:32 AM on November 3, 2004

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