Should you let your sexual partner know you have HPV?

Do you have an HPV infection? If so, you may wonder if you should tell your sexual partner or potential sexual partner about it.

Ultimately, the infected person must decide whether they think it is a good idea to tell their partner about their HPV diagnosis. Since you may not experience any symptoms from an HPV infection, it would be easy to hide it from your sexual partner if you wanted to do so.

But would you want to be that dishonest with your sexual partner? You still run the risk of transmitting the HPV virus to them even if you don’t experience any symptoms. And who knows if their immune system would have the same strength as yours to prevent symptoms or worse.

Therefore, you should be honest with every sexual partner by notifying them of your HPV-positive status. Then your sexual partner can decide if they want to risk getting an HPV infection by having sex with you.

The Best Way to Disclose Your HPV Status

Many people don’t understand HPV and what HPV-positive status signifies. Here are some tips to help you disclose this vital information to your sexual partner:

  • Research HPV and ask your doctor questions about it. You’ll learn the virus is a widespread sexually transmitted infection that is harmless to most infected people.
  • Tell your partner about the potential risks involved for some HPV-positive people. But ensure they understand that most people don’t experience symptoms.
  • Plan the setting and mood for telling your sexual partner about your HPV-positive status. It may help you feel better about telling them.
  • Talk to your partner about the HPV treatments you receive and what you should both do going forward. Perhaps your partner can get the HPV vaccine or practice safer sex with you. Safe sex would involve wearing dental dams and condoms.

Your partner may react with anger or judgment because they are afraid and believe in the misinformation spread about HPV. At this point, you should give your partner time to process the information and make the best choice for themselves. If your partner decides they don’t want to be intimate with you, they can at least appreciate that you told them the truth before unknowingly transmitting the virus to them.

The Best HPV Preventative Treatment 

The HPV vaccine is the best preventative treatment for anyone who has not contracted HPV yet. Health experts recommend getting the “Gardasil 9” HPV vaccine between ages 11 and 45. But, of course, it is better to get it before entering your sexually active years, so getting the vaccine at 11 or 12 would be ideal.

Gardasil 9 can protect people against low-risk and high-risk HPV types, including HPV types 16 and 18 which cause nearly 80% of all cervical cancer cases in the United States. It also protects against HPV Types 6 and 11, known for causing genital warts.

Males and females are eligible for the HPV vaccine. Contact your doctor if you have any questions.