[Question #7077] Past HPV/Genital Wart Diagnosis Disclosure
8 months ago
In 2012 I went to dermatologist with genital wart concern. The doctor gave diagnosis of HPV, removed the warts, and biopsied one revealing wart was HPV but not high-risk strain. Doctor told me I would have HPV for an indefinite time and needed to inform all partners. I asked the doctor again in 2014 if I needed to keep telling partners even though I hadn’t had any warts for a while and she said yes, disclosure was necessary. I have continued to inform partners of my HPV diagnosis even though I haven’t seen a wart in years and many partners have told me it isn’t necessary to keep disclosing.
I usually say one of the following to disclose:
- I have hpv but not the cancer-causing kind
- I was diagnosed with hpv several years ago but not the kind that causes cancer
- Occasionally I tell the story: “one day I saw something on my penis, went to doctor, and she said it was HPV but not the kind that causes cancer.”
In March 2020 I disclosed to a casual sex partner before we had sex the second time that “I had HPV (or had tested positive for HPV in the past) but not the kind that causes cancer”. She seemed fine with this as we had sex afterwards and she continued communication for several months after. But several days ago we spoke and she accused me of intentionally giving her genital warts. She says that I had a legal duty to tell her that I had had genital warts and not just HPV and had committed a crime by not specifying. I’m terribly upset by all this. Two questions:
- Is it correct to say I had/have HPV or is it necessary to say genital warts? I was under the impression saying I had HPV was correct and the really important distinction was low versus high risk HPV. Was that incorrect to say I had tested positive for HPV and not explicitly say genital warts?
- Is it still necessary for me to tell people I have HPV or tested positive for HPV if it was almost 8 years ago and I haven’t had any genital warts in such a long time? Thanks in advance!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
8 months ago