About three years ago I was diagnosed with HPV. I just got out of a serious relationship and have been dating this new guy who is absolutely great! Before we become sexually active, I believe that he must know that I have HPV. I am unsure on how to approach him with this and what to say. I can't help but feel afraid for how he'll react. We haven't talked about sex yet, but I just want to be prepared when the time comes. Do you have any advice on how to tell a new partner about HPV?
— Up Front Fiona
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Dear Up Front Fiona,
I think it's great that you're being so conscious and direct about your HPV diagnosis. I definitely agree that it's something that should be discussed beforehand, and I'm sure if nothing else, you're new guy will be grateful for your honesty. You may want to do some research on HPV in men before bringing it up to him, so that if he has any questions, you'll be ready to answer them. Often when men hear about HPV they assume that it's just a women's STI, but it's important that he understands that he can be a carrier of the disease, pass it on to other sexual partners, and never experience any symptoms.
I'd also specify whether or not you were diagnosed with low-risk (genital warts) or high-risk (abnormal cervical cells) HPV in order to give him a better understanding of the specific type of HPV that he could be exposed to. Most importantly, keep and open dialog with him and make sure he understands that he can open up to you about any concerns he might be having. As long as you keep the lines of communication open, you guys should have nothing to worry about.