[Question #7430] HPV from genital area to oral area

4 months ago
Hello,

Thank you for this opportunity to ask a question. I am a 30 year old woman and I have been diagnosed with high risk HPV. My boyfriend will probably also have this now, because we've been tested for other STD's and are having unprotected sex now. Now we were wondering if it is safe for us to also have oral sex. I have been diagnosed with HPV high risk about a year ago and I did not clear the infection yet. So now I was wondering if, when the infection transfers to my mouth I might also not be able to clear the infection there and I would have a risk for cancer? Because I will get a checkup for cervical HPV, but not for oral HPV. 
And another related question, is oral HPV also transmittable through kissing? 

Thank you very much in advance!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
4 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  Thanks for your question.  I’ll be glad to comment.  In the circumstance you describe, I see no reason for concern and no reason to modify your sexual interactions with your BF.  Your BF has certainly been exposed to your HPV infection u les he was already infected, as is likely if he has had prior partners.  The consequences of possible infection in both him and you are relatively low and if you both follow recommended preventative Heath recommendations (regular check ups for her, regular dental (and oral) evaluations for both of you, and evaluation of any lesions either of you notice). You should be fine.  

The vast majority of HPV infections resolved without any consequence whatsoever.

Finally, HPV He’s not known to be meaningfully transmitted through kissing. I hope this information has been helpful to you. If there are further questions please don’t hesitate to use your up to two follow-up questions for clarification. Take care. EWH
 


---
4 months ago
Thank you for your reply. I have some further questions. 

Could you explain what you mean by regular oral checkups? Is hpv something I should get checked on orally as well? (I get regular pap smears, but I didn't know that I also should get checked orally). Or do you mean just get a dental checkup? And with leasions you mean warts? 
Furthermore, I was wondering if I have higher risk, because my body was not able until now to clear my cervical HPV infection. 
My last question is, could you clarify what you mean by "meaningfully transmitted"? Does that mean it does not happen often or does that mean that it gets transmitted but will not cause an infection in that way? 

Thank you very much in advance! 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
4 months ago
Oh I’m sorry if my initial response was unclear. The regular oral check ups I meant are regular dental check ups. Dentists are now trained to check the entire oral cavity for abnormalities and would be expected to detect any visible warts or abnormalities.  There is no other current recommendation in terms of checking for oral HPV.

There are no data to suggest that you are at higher risk for oral HPV infection or oral cancer because of your persistent cervical infection.

 By use of the term “meaningful transmission“ I was referring to the fact that in science we can never use the word “never”. Things that happen very rarely still occur. On the other hand, there are no data to suggest that kissing is a risk factor for acquisition of oral HPV infection.

I hope that these additional comments are helpful to you. The bottom line in my advice to you is that there is no reason for you or your boyfriend to be worried about transmission of HPV between the two of you at this time and there’s no reason for you to modify the sexual practices that you currently engaging. EWH
---