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HPV

  • HPV (written by Hayley)

  • HPV (written by Dr. Pluhar)

Ask Hayley,
I'm not sure where to begin or what to say, so I will just give you the facts.  I am a 17 year-old female.  I have been dating the same guy and my only sexual partner for a year now.  I recently found out the I have contracted HPV.  I don't want to point fingers but I know he was the one who brought it into this relationship.  I am to say the least scared and I'm not sure how this is going to change my sex life with him.  I thought maybe you could explain exactly what happens now.  What medication I should be on or how my sex life should change...anything you would find useful.  I have also been very distant from my guy.  I don't want him touching me or kissing on me, it's like I kind of resent him for giving me this. Is this normal and how can I make it go away?  I love him and don't want this to come between us.  Please help...and advice would be wonderful!!! Thank-you!

Hi Angel,

HPV is a virus that is INCREDIBLY common. It is a very complicated virus because there are so many strains of it. Some types of HPV just go away on their own and never return, other types cause cervical cancer. Only a health practioner/lab can determine which type you have so it is VERY important that you get medical follow-up. Caught early, cervical cancer is often preventable. I am assuming you know you have HPV because a health care provider told you? An accurate diagnosis is important.

There is no medication per se, to treat HPV. If you have precancerous cells in your cervix or visible warts (which are produced by certain strains of HPV) a doctor or nurse will want to treat them. It is very important that you follow-up with a medical provider. I can not tell you more about what to expect because I do not know the details of your situation (i.e. type of HPV, symptoms, etc). When you go to the doctor/nurse bring a list of questions and make sure you get all the answers. You are asking important questions. 

It is most likely that you contracted HPV from your current partner, but not impossible that you got it from a previous partner. HPV symptoms may appear within several weeks after sex with a person who has HPV or they may take months or years to appear. This makes it hard to know exactly when you got the virus or from whom you got it. It is also very likely that your partner did not know that he was infected.

It is understandable that you feel shocked and upset, but keep this in perspective. In the great majority of cases, HPV is not life threatening and in many cases it simply disappears. It might help to try to figure out what is bothering you the most about the idea that you contracted this from your partner. Is it the idea that he had previous partners? Or that he gave you an infection? Or the idea that you have an infection? Again, having HPV does not mean you or he was promiscuous or "dirty" in any way. 

It is important that you BOTH see a doctor/nurse to ask questions and get answers. Talking about this and working it through this together may make your relationship even stronger. The American Social Health Association has a great website in which they answer common questions about HPV (www.ashastd.org), they also have a hotline (877-HPV-5868).

 On a last note, I probably do not need to tell you that it is important to consider using condoms with any partner when you have sex. Most people do not know it when they have an sexually transmitted infection, so they can not warn you ahead of time. HPV is not the end of the world, but you probably wish you had avoided contracting it. Also, HPV is only one of many sexually transmitted infections, so using condoms from now on is NOT unimportant. If you are going to be sexually active condoms are the best way to avoid infection.  Hope this helps- 

 This tip was originally written by Hayley Ph.D (c)

 

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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS

Ms. Robboy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Growth Inc and How To Have Good Sex Inc.  Alex practices marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, and also conducts periodic seminars about human sexuality throughout the northeastern United States.

Ms. Robboy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Masters degree in Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Marriage Counseling & Sex Therapy. Through the American Board of Sexology, she is a board certified sexologist and through the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists a certified sex therapist.  Additionally, she is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the American Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.

 

  Our Philosophy sex is like dancing, it changes every time. It depends on culture, atmosphere and mood. Sometimes it is done alone, with a partner or in a group. It can be fast and hard or slow and soft. Sex is a combination of non-verbal negotiation and verbal cues: a scream, a twitch of the toes, or a flush of the face. There is no one 'right' way to move, only what feels good to all those involved. 
     The purpose of this site is to share information. Thus, if you have any ideas, thoughts or information that you believe others might benefit from, please e-mail your tip to alex@howtohavegoodsex.com and I  will be sure to include it on either our weekly newsletter or here on the actual website. 
                                                                                    

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