Originally Posted by km34
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??
I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.
From my recollection, I came across multiple online sources (which, I could no longer name at this juncture) that claimed there is controversy whether or not the virus clears in your bloodstream. The doctor who removed my wart claimed there is no way to know whether or not you have the virus unless you have warts...which, I find strange.
Anyway, I think I might be more well-informed about HPV than many health care providers at this point.
As I recall, there seems to have been cases in which the virus cleared from blood tests of previously infected persons, but it was unclear whether it was simply because the virus levels were so low (suppressed by the immunological system) that blood tests could not capture it, or that the virus indeed goes away completely after the 6 months - 2 year mark.
I also don`t know how significant that is even if it does not clear since, apparently, our blood carries many different viruses for life, including the flu virus, etc. But, they aren`t necessarily active.
I`m pretty sure that`s the information I got from what seemed to be reliable sources at the time. But of course, I`m not an authority on the topic.
doctor, of the 3 or 4 that I asked personally, and one M.D. from an HPV website, recommended that I notify casual partners about my infection after
the 6 months. None.
In fact, in my STD tests, it also shows that I have been exposed to HSV but that it is 'inactive.' Although, I have only had a single instance of cold sore (mouth) when I was 19 years old after I lost my virginity. I have never had any genital symptoms.
When the numbers of partners I`d been with started getting above average, and I began freaking out about STDs, I asked a doctor about the HSV results, as well. I specifically asked whether or not I should notify every single partner of it, as I was afraid that would severely limit my sex life.
He shrugged, and said, "That`s not significant. Everybody`s got herpes. The Pope`s got herpes. Jesus has got herpes. The Virgin Mary, probably`s got it! Just use the condom, son."
So, in a sense, HSV and HPV are related viruses. Most people will contract them, most are asymptomatic to mildly symptomatic. And, the symptoms usually to ease or disappear altogether with time. Barring the horror stories previously discussed.
I believe, if you are having a fly-by-night fling, and are asymptomatic (which, for genital herpes would be after shedding
), it is laughable to notify that person.
The casual partner probably`s got it anyway (whether or not they are aware of it), and in any event, it is as much his/her responsibility to ask for tests as it is yours show them to him/her. Casual sex comes with certain risks that I assume any casual partner should be aware of. And, in the words of the pornstar Chloe, "After you`ve been in this industry for a while, you`ve got herpes. It`s as simple as that." If you substitute 'in this industry' for 'with a certain amount of partners', the truism seems to still hold.
As for long-term partners, I assume you would get tested together and then discuss your tests at length, so both can make informed decisions. And surprise, surprise! It is not unlikely that your partner will also show asymptomatic exposure to the above viruses.
If you are symptomatic, however, dating someone who`s also symptomatic might be an option. I`m not sure.