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Should I Date a Guy With HPV?

Group Therapy: Should I Date a Guy With HPV?

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I am a smart, healthy 25-year-old female, who has been vaccinated (gardisil) for HPV, has never had an STD, and gets paps regularly. I am considering dating a guy who has told me that he just found out he has HPV. I've researched and can't seem to find an answer, so I'm hoping someone here might have a word of advice.

In my research I found that the vaccination I had only protects against 4 types of HPV and there are about 90 types. I also discovered it's transferred just by contact, even if there isn't intercourse, therefore, that condoms can't be trusted for preventing contraction of HPV. Then I learned that an estimated 75-80% of people will contract it at some point in their life. I don't want to get HPV or be unsafe. I think my gut is telling me not to continue on with this guy because of this (and because if I am going to be in a relationship, sex is going to need to be a part of it). What do you think? I am over-thinking this? Should I just avoid the situation all together? I'm honestly really hoping for some responses! Thanks!

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Miss-Kaylie Miss-Kaylie 5 years
Ok, OP here again: Update! I talked to him about how he found out he had HPV since some of the posters/responders were curious as to how he found out since there is supposed to be no test for males. He told me he had a 'blemish,' (wart) and it responded to treatement 100%. Lindssaurus, yes, I knew all of the info. and am aware of how common it is, as stated in my original post. Thanks for making sure! Janine, thanks for clarifying that last point, I think you are correct. I haven't decided as to whether or not I want to date this gentleman regardless of this issue, so I will proceed with caution, and let me head & heart lead me, along with all of the valuable insight gained here. Thanks again everyone!
Janine22 Janine22 5 years
I just wanted to quickly comment that the last poster is incorrect. I am fairly certain that Valtrex is prescribed for genital herpes, not hpv/genital warts which is what was being talked about. 2 completely different STI's.
Miss-Kaylie Miss-Kaylie 5 years
I'm the orignial poster (and fairly new to the site, this was my first post). I don't mind that I'm giving away my annonymous status by saying this, so far this site has shown me that it's truly a communiity of honest, caring individuals who are here to support each other, and I love that! I want to thank all of you who have posted a response. Definitely some great info, some things to think about, and I will ask him how he found out he has it. I can say this though, he was having some unrelated (as far as I know) heatlth problems and was seeing a doctor for those, it was something to do with his stomach, he had given me the impression that no matter what he ate he had an extremely upset stomach & spent lots of time in the restroom. Anyhow, I'll keep you all posted if I get an answer to how he found out he had it... Thanks again to everyone I really, really appreciate your thoughts and responses!!
JessicaM25 JessicaM25 5 years
Hey there, HPV effects about 80-85% of the population. However, if you received the Gardasil shot prior to having a sexual encounter with someone who is infected with HPV than you are more inclined to develop antibodies that will fight against HPV. The Gardasil shot only protects against 4 different types of HPV and there are no current testing for men to locate on what "type" of HPV there is. If you were to catch HPV from him though, your doctor would be able to tell you what "type" you have. Best Wishes. http://www.gardasil.com/hpv/hpv-types/hpv-transmission/index.html?WT.mc_id=GL0ES&MTD=2
karlotta karlotta 5 years
If you don't date this guy with HPV, you'll end up with another guy who has HPV but doesn't know it or won't tell you. The numbers are correct - 80 - 85% of us have had, have, or will have HPV at some point or another. I think most strains are beat by our immune system and disappear - so your boyfriend's HPV may well be gone in a few months. I've had HPV a couple of times - different strains; and even though one of them stuck around for a few years (one of the high risk forms), I've been free and clear of it for a while and it's possible it'll never come back. Of course I understand the gross factor; but I don't know where I'd be if my boyfriend hadn't gotten over that when I got a new genital wart a couple of years ago - he stuck it out, I got rid of it, and after 5 years together he hasn't caught it (as far as we know, since guys can't get tested) - so I wouldn't overthink this too much and if you like him, give him a chance. Especially since you got the vaccine!
Janine22 Janine22 5 years
I am sorry, I do not understand this man saying that he has HPV because from what I have read, men cannot be tested for HPV. Even if a former partner of his had it, it does not mean that he necessarily has it and he could not be tested for it anyway to my knowledge. So that leads me to the conclusion that he has genital warts, and instead of telling you this, he told you that he has HPV because he thinks that it does not sound as bad. Of course, I could be wrong but you should probably ask him. If you have had a vaccine for HPV, I am pretty sure that that protects against only certain types of HPV. I have read that it protects against the one that causes cervical cancer, but not against the one that causes genital warts. Also, condoms may not protect against genital warts because they do not cover the whole area of the genitals (it is transferred through skin to skin contact). I would like to say this man deserves props for telling you the truth about this and being responsible for his health. Many people have HPV (and genital herpes) and never know it, and therefore do not tell their partners. At least he is being upfront and honest. Although like I said, I question his actual level of full disclosure, considering that it seems likely that he actually has genital warts rather than HPV. So, I think that you need to find out exactly how he knows/found out that he has HPV. He needs to be upfront and honest with you if he does have genital warts. If he does not have genital warts, and the vaccination that you got protects against the type of HPV that causes cervical cancer, then it does seem like it would be a big deal at all if you got it. In fact, you probably would not even know if you had it. (although obviously I am not a medical professional so I do not know a ton about it). I think that your best bet would be to talk to an STD nurse at a sexual health clinic. They have a lot of knowledge of STI's and can take the time to answer all of your questions. Only you can decide if you would consider dating this guy. Keep in mind that you already know (hopefully) that he is an honest, caring person. Would you want someone you were really interested in to discount you as a potential partner just because you unfortunately happened to get an STI? It seems unfair to completely rule out dating him just for this reason, but you have to make the decision that is right for you. Good luck.
Janine22 Janine22 5 years
I am sorry, I do not understand this man saying that he has HPV because from what I have read, men cannot be tested for HPV. Even if a former partner of his had it, it does not mean that he necessarily has it and he could not be tested for it anyway to my knowledge. So that leads me to the conclusion that he has genital warts, and instead of telling you this, he told you that he has HPV because he thinks that it does not sound as bad. Of course, I could be wrong but you should probably ask him. If you have had a vaccine for HPV, I am pretty sure that that protects against only certain types of HPV. I have read that it protects against the one that causes cervical cancer, but not against the one that causes genital warts. Also, condoms may not protect against genital warts because they do not cover the whole area of the genitals (it is transferred through skin to skin contact). I would like to say this man deserves props for telling you the truth about this and being responsible for his health. Many people have HPV (and genital herpes) and never know it, and therefore do not tell their partners. At least he is being upfront and honest. Although like I said, I question his actual level of full disclosure, considering that it seems likely that he actually has genital warts rather than HPV. So, I think that you need to find out exactly how he knows/found out that he has HPV. He needs to be upfront and honest with you if he does have genital warts. If he does not have genital warts, and the vaccination that you got protects against the type of HPV that causes cervical cancer, then it does seem like it would be a big deal at all if you got it. In fact, you probably would not even know if you had it. (although obviously I am not a medical professional so I do not know a ton about it). I think that your best bet would be to talk to an STD nurse at a sexual health clinic. They have a lot of knowledge of STI's and can take the time to answer all of your questions. Only you can decide if you would consider dating this guy. Keep in mind that you already know (hopefully) that he is an honest, caring person. Would you want someone you were really interested in to discount you as a potential partner just because you unfortunately happened to get an STI? It seems unfair to completely rule out dating him just for this reason, but you have to make the decision that is right for you. Good luck.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
If you really like this guy, I wouldn't scratch him off the dating list at all! It was brave, admirable, and responsible for him to let you know. Most of the commentors here are not medical professionals (although you are all always helpful, that isn't meant as an insult!), so I suggest making an appointment with your doctor and telling her the situation. Get some medical facts from a professional and decide how to proceed from there. Good luck :)
soulsearcher83 soulsearcher83 5 years
If you really want to date this guy then you should talk to your doctor. None of us are doctors so we won't be able to give you accurate info, or one person can but 20 can't so you can't tell which of the posters's info is accurate.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
OP to answer your question, I wouldn't have a problem sleeping with someone with HPV while using prophylactics. While I'm no stranger to what HPV can do, I also know that there is only so much that one can do to avoid it outside of lifelong monogamy or celibacy (nothing wrong with those, just not my choice). So you have to weigh the pro's & con's of any sexual encounter, and if the person is good enough, you'll overlook low-level sti risks. It's very true that there are couples where one has hiv or an sti like herpes & they have to be very careful, but they can keep it that way. This is not to diminish the necessity of safer sex practices, but rather a reinforcement of how their proper application can keep you safe. Play it smart, and you can stay in the game for extra innings. I am very proud to say that I have had nearly 50 partners and have remained sti-free.
jessr1214 jessr1214 5 years
Just wanted to say that the vaccine does NOT protect against all strains that cause cancer or warts! It will protect you against the most common ones, but not all. Everyone is affected differently by each strain too, a strain that causes cancer in one woman could be completely benign in another woman. Sorry, I have personal and professional experience with this (worked in a biomedical research lab studying HPV) so misinformation bugs me.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
I'd date him and I wouldn't freak out if you decide to have sex with him. If you've already been sexually active, even if protected, you've likely been exposed to HPV. As pistil said, many people don't know they have HPV, and of those people, most will never have any symptoms or signs. It is very, very common and, in most cases, causes no problems. Since you've had the vaccine, you're protected against the cancer-causing strains. I say get to know this guy before you rush into anything -- dating, having sex, or anything else. Then you'll know what feels right for you. As others have said, though, kudos to him for being up front about his HPV status. People place unfair and unnecessary stigma on people who have HPV and other sexually transmitted infections, so it says a lot that he is OK enough with himself to talk about HPV with you.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
I'd date him and I wouldn't freak out if you decide to have sex with him. If you've already been sexually active, even if protected, you've likely been exposed to HPV. As pistil said, many people don't know they have HPV, and of those people, most will never have any symptoms or signs. It is very, very common and, in most cases, causes no problems. Since you've had the vaccine, you're protected against the cancer-causing strains. I say get to know this guy before you rush into anything -- dating, having sex, or anything else. Then you'll know what feels right for you. As others have said, though, kudos to him for being up front about his HPV status. People place unfair and unnecessary stigma on people who have HPV and other sexually transmitted infections, so it says a lot that he is OK enough with himself to talk about HPV with you.
Pistil Pistil 5 years
Yes, anonymous, but having HPV doesn't make you loose and stupid. Many people who have it don't know it, and probably never will.I would go ahead and date him. If the relationship does go anywhere just be sure to practice safe sex as you would with anyone else.
Pistil Pistil 5 years
Yes, anonymous, but having HPV doesn't make you loose and stupid. Many people who have it don't know it, and probably never will. I would go ahead and date him. If the relationship does go anywhere just be sure to practice safe sex as you would with anyone else.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 5 years
If you've been vaccinated for HPV, you're generally believed to be safe from the types that are dangerous to your health. If you've made the decision to never sleep with a partner who has HPV, I wish you luck, madam. During bootcamp, 85% of the girls had HPV for the intake pap.
jessr1214 jessr1214 5 years
There is no test for guys, so he probably either has genital warts or has been in a position where a girl he was with had an abnormal pap and tested positive. gardisil protects you against 4 strains of HPV: the 2 responsible for 90% of genital warts, and the 2 responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. I think you need to talk to him about how he knows and that will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with. Its true that irregular paps are treatable, but that doesnt mean the treatment is fun. I had a highly abnormal pap last year and had a biopsy and a minor surgical procedure done to remove the abnormal cells...since then i have tested normal but the procedure was one of the most awful things I have ever been through. That being said, if I could go back and choose whether to be with my boyfriend or not (I am pretty sure he gave it to me, though there is no way to know for sure) I would choose him in a heartbeat. Maybe just take things slow and get to know him really well first, make sure he is good relationship material before deciding to get physical. I do think it's great that he told you and it's great that you are educating yourself before jumping into bed with him. Good luck!
jessr1214 jessr1214 5 years
There is no test for guys, so he probably either has genital warts or has been in a position where a girl he was with had an abnormal pap and tested positive. gardisil protects you against 4 strains of HPV: the 2 responsible for 90% of genital warts, and the 2 responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. I think you need to talk to him about how he knows and that will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with. Its true that irregular paps are treatable, but that doesnt mean the treatment is fun. I had a highly abnormal pap last year and had a biopsy and a minor surgical procedure done to remove the abnormal cells...since then i have tested normal but the procedure was one of the most awful things I have ever been through. That being said, if I could go back and choose whether to be with my boyfriend or not (I am pretty sure he gave it to me, though there is no way to know for sure) I would choose him in a heartbeat. Maybe just take things slow and get to know him really well first, make sure he is good relationship material before deciding to get physical. I do think it's great that he told you and it's great that you are educating yourself before jumping into bed with him. Good luck!
girlgreen girlgreen 5 years
if i were the OP i'd be even more confused than before!! for me, i don't think i could do it.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 5 years
"So, does HPV go away? Antibodies and/or transfer factor may be built during the immune process. These immune factors remain in the body the rest of the person’s life for any particular strain they have in the body at the time they take an immune modulator. Once immunity is accomplished you will then test negative for HPV and would not test positive again unless exposed to a new strain of HPV. The natural remedy treatment lengths are generally for an initial 90 days and should be taken as directed with an oral dosage and treatment directly to the skin tissue affected. Some natural remedies are as effective as traditional medical treatments and surgeries."
Vanonymous Vanonymous 5 years
Just to clear up a few things on this post/comments, HPV is for life, however many people suffer no symptoms from it. Guys can find out they have HPV if they have a genital wart (which is caused by HPV). I, personally, would not avoid being in a relationship with him b/c of this mainly b/c (as mentioned above) the majority of adults today have the virus, whether they know it or not. I think it was very brave and considerate of him to tell you. I think many people believe it's common enough that it's not necessary to disclose. I also agree that it wouldn't be a bad idea to run it by your doctor first just to find out if there are precautions you could take. I got the vaccine at 24 and my doctor told me i was probably already exposed (turns out i was not)... but she told me that you can pretty much assume all sexually active adults have it at this point.
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