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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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