Talking to a Sexual Partner About Your HPV Infection

Have you been diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV)? HPV is a specific group of viruses transmitted by intimate skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. If you have contracted any HPV type, you may find it as embarrassing to talk about as herpes or another sexually transmitted infection or disease.

Many people are not as familiar with HPV as with herpes and chlamydia, even though HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the Western world. Nearly 80% of all sexually active people currently have an infection from one HPV strain.

The good news is that most HPV-infected people do not experience any symptoms. In fact, they never realize they have the virus because their immune systems eradicate it before symptoms develop.

Unfortunately, some HPV-infected people experience symptoms like genital warts and abnormal cell growthin parts of the genital region, like the cervix. That is why an HPV infection is a serious matter to discuss with your potential intimate partner, whether you experience symptoms or not.

Why Should I Tell My Partner About My HPV Infection?

Your partner has every right to know about your HPV infection because you could transmit it to them during sex. Since the virus can potentially cause genital warts and cancer in certain people, your partner needs to understand these risks.

While you may not experience any symptoms or adverse effects from your HPV infection, it is still possible that your partner could suffer negative symptoms and consequences if you sexually transmit it to them.

For this reason, your partner must know about your HPV infection, so they can make an informed decision about whether to have sex with you. Wouldn’t you want them to do the same for you if the roles were reversed?

You might be nervous to talk to your partner about your HPV infection. Their potential adverse reaction to the news might make you too afraid to tell them. However, you must tell them the truth because it could save their life. It is better to take the risk of telling the truth upfront rather than keeping it from them and letting them find out the hard way.

How to Talk to Your Partner About Your HPV Infection

Ask your partner to sit down with you because you have something important to talk about with them. Avoid starting negatively by referring to your infection as a “problem.” Instead, calmly inform your partner that your doctor diagnosed you with HPV. If your partner doesn’t know much about HPV, kindly educate them about the potential risks.

It may turn out that your partner doesn’t want to have sex with you after learning about the diagnosis. If that’s the case, then it is for the best. At least you can be glad you told them the truth before doing something you cannot take back.

Talk With Your Doctor About HPV

If you are not infected with HPV, the safest thing to do is get vaccinated as early as possible and use protection during sex. But if you are infected or sexually active, please consult your doctor about the best ways to keep yourself and your partner safe.