[Question #4974] Lost and confused

24 months ago
Hello,

My ex recently told me he had genital warts and they showed up about 3 months after him and I got back together. While we were broken up I had slept with someone else, which I was honest about. I have never shown signs of infection or anything to worry about so I would have never known I was carrying a virus. I had no idea what hpv even was? We have been broken up again for a while and he’s just now telling me he’s had an outbreak of genital warts and got them Frozen off.  I show no signs of warts but have a doctors appointment next month to get tested and checked out but until then I’m freaking out and don’t have any answers. 

My question is- since I’m probably hpv positive does this mean my new partner will also get warts from sleeping with me and having unprotected sex?  What about oral? Can you get warts or infected with hpv from oral sex? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  In this reply I will provide some background and a few "bottom line" answers but I also would suggest that you check out some of the reputable information about HPV and genital warts.  ASHA, the same organization that sponsors this forum, also has a comprehensive web site on the topic of HPV.  You can access it by Googling AHSA HPV.  Now on to your questions.

HPV is among the most common of all sexually transmitted infections.  An estimated 80% of sexually active adults will acquire HPV, most of them before there mid-20s.  There are over 100 different types of HPV, not all of which infected the genital tract.  A much smaller proportion cause most genital infections.  Some HPV types cause most visible genital warts but they may also cause infection without being visible.  The types of HPV which cause visible warts typically do not cause cancer.  Other types of HPV typically do not cause visible warts but may cause PAP smear abnormalities.  A very small proportion of these infections (less than 1%) may go on to cause cervical caner which is the reason that vaccination to prevent infection and PAP type smears to detect pre-cancerous lesions to allow treatment are important for women.

Because infection is so very common, it is very unusual for someone to be able to tell who they got genital warts from. The appearance of genital warts after infection typically takes several months or longer.  Further, Not everyone who has sex with a person who has warts will get warts themselves.  

You can get warts and HPV from oral sex but it is much less common than genital infection.

Hope this helps.  Seeing your doctor is a good idea for a test. In addition, depending on your age and insurance, considering vaccination for HPV may be wise as well.  EWH
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24 months ago
Thank you! I have been reading a lot on the hpv virus and there just seems to be no solid answers and a lot of unknown.  My ex has had two treatments now to get them frozen off and they prescribed him a topical cream at his last apprinemnt to help reduce the chance of them coming back. I now just feel scared and embarrassed to have sex with my new partner because I feel like he will get warts. 

I will feel much better after my appointment with my doctor in March and get a clear better understanding because I may not even be positive for hpv right now... i understand the body fights off the infection usually on its own within 1-2 years? Is this something you’re supposed to tell a new partner before sleeping with them... that you were hpv positive at one point? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
I'm not sure what to say about your fears.  There are no guarantees.  That said, suspecting that your new partner probably has had sex before, he also likely has HPV unless he has been 
vaccinated.

We do not necessarily recommend disclose of infection, if present to partners.  the misunderstandings are too great.  I would suggest you look at some of the other discussions on this site related to disclosure to partners in which we have explained why we do not feel that disclosure to partners is needed - there are many.  EWH
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