Originally Posted by feelyunicorn
Initially, I did communicate my infection to two regular partners of mine at the time. Now, I think it would be ridiculous for me to mention it since the risk of transmitting it (or, even of still having it in my bloodstream) is probably just as low as the risk of someone not knowing they`ve already got it.
I'm curious where you got this info from. Everything I've read says that except for rare cases you carry the virus with you all your life, your body just builds an immunity and the proper antibodies which is why people don't generally suffer many relapses after the initial 6 months.
I got the vaccine when I was in high school. My doctor at the time is in the school of "let's give everyone this thing!" so my sister (20 at the time), mom (39 at the time), and I (17 at the time) all got it together. I felt no pain or discomfort at all, although some people do have some redness and itchiness at injection site. The vaccine, however, only protects from 2 strains that cause warts and 2 strains that cause cervical cell mutations (which can eventually lead to cancer).
I've since been diagnosed with a high risk HPV strain that the vaccine does NOT cover. I had to have a colposcopy after my abnormal pap and they tested the cells to figure out exactly which strain it was. That procedure has been the worst part of my experience with HPV, and honestly it wasn't even too bad since I'm used to bad cramping anyway.
There is basically no way to stop yourself from spreading it unless you want to stop having sex.
I told everyone that I was having sex with and then told any swinging contacts that I had at the time that I was diagnosed. Every single person that I told said they were willing to take the risk of exposure once they read up on the virus. The likelihood of actually developing cancer is slim as long as medical exams are kept up on in a timely manner so if the cells do continue to mutate, they can be removed.
I honestly forget about it most of the time. It has not made a huge impact on my life at all. The people I told all seemed to be aware the HPV is easily spread and that more than likely they would exposed at some point, so I really don't see the point of telling people unless it is someone that I have a long term relationship with so that they can be prepared for the shock of hearing it. I had a couple of (nonsexual) friends who freaked out when they heard, but after reading up on it even they don't find it that frightening. It's really the fear of the unknown that seems to affect people - and all those horror stories they show on tv.
MANY of the swingers I know and have talked to online have had experience with HPV. ALL of the swingers I've talked to say that it is an individual's responsibility to know the risk since a person who has been diagnosed in the past can never really know if they are spreading the virus at the time or not, especially after it has cleared the first time and tests come back clean.
I agree more info needs to be put out there. Readily. Not requiring people to search when they get the diagnosis. All I knew before I got the news was that it could cause cancer. I did NOT know that the chances of that happening are slim even when you've got it. I also did not know that condoms didn't protect you from it. I knew they aren't reliable in HSV (herpes) prevention, but I didn't know about HPV.
My major point: Tell people if you feel the need. Don't if you don't. No reason to feel icky. I've known someone who was born with HPV or managed to catch it from a bathroom (she was diagnosed BEFORE every having ANY sexual contact - even kissing). Like everyone else has said, this virus has managed to stump doctors on many fronts, so until we know more, we can't really worry too much without completely giving up sexual contact. And really, what's life without sex??