What should I tell my partner?

How do we deal with HPV infection together?, Who infected me?

How should you manage an HPV infection together with your partner?

Do not let it affect your peace or happiness. Ask an expert for information. Make sure you are correctly informed on the subject. It is usually uncertain which partner infected the other (unless one of the two had never had a relationship in the past).

Who infected me?

It is not possible to know exactly when and by whom one became infected. Both women and men may become infected by HPV during sexual intercourse, and then infect their next partners. This is the rule in the majority of cases, because no visible lesions are usually present, only subclinical ones, and individuals infected with HPV are not aware of it.

Unfair though it seems, there isn't an approved HPV test for males. Only people with a history of genital warts know that they were once infected. However, even these individuals don't know if they have been infected with oncogenic types of HPV. Also, they may believe they were cured and no longer carry the virus.

Old infections become latent, and may be activated again. When an infection is latent, neither men nor women are infectious. If at some point in the future the immune system is suppressed, the virus is reactivated and lesions reappear, presenting a risk of transmission to the partner.

In long-term relationships, usually both partners have been infected. Your partner may not have any lesions at this time (if he is examined), but this does not mean that there is no HPV DNA in his cells. His immune system is simply working properly and has suppressed the infection. Several studies indicate that shared HPV does not ping pong back and forth. There is evidence, though, that when lesions are found in one partner, using condoms may speed the clearance of any HPV-related disease. The decreased viral load may allow the individual's own immune system a better chance of eliminating the virus.