HPV - views on telling past and future partners?

I'm not sure if this is the correct place in the forum for this so apologies if it isn't.  My last smear showed I have borderline abnormalities and HPV. I was referred for a colposcopy, at the appointment I asked the consultant about talking to previous partners about HPV and I found him pretty dismissive - he said there was no need to tell them as it's so common and there is no way of telling who I had it from.  

I'm pretty sure about who I had it from, we've talked about it (we're still friends) and we're both concerned about the possibility of him infecting his current partner and putting her at higher risk of cerival cancer.  So I just wanted to know if anyone has asked their consultant about the need to tell previous partners and what you were advised? Or just anyone's view of whether or not you think HPV is something we should discuss with previous partners?


Hello 23heather.

I'm with the consultant on this one.  It's such a common virus, everyone who is sexually active, whether they've had one partner or 100 partners , is at risk of having it.  It's not a disease caused by  promiscuity.  Anyone who has sex can have it. Couples who have only ever had sex with each other can have the virus.  Also, this virus can lie dormant for many years. It is not like the aids virus therefore I do not think there is any need to discuss it with previous partners.  

For more info visit the 'Cancer Research Uk' website.



Hello :)

I agree, I don't think it's necessary to tell past/future partners. Like bogeywoman said, the virus is so common that the only way anyone will ever not be at risk is if they abstain from sex completely! And what's more, a lot of people's immune systems will fight it without ever knowing they are infected. It will more than likely just cause unnecessary panic for people.

I've confided in my boyfriend about the whole thing, purely because he's supported me through the whole process, but otherwise I don't think I would be too worried about telling anyone :)

Laura xx

Hi, I'd like to give an alternative view.. In some instances it is important to discuss. For example, men who's exes have had cc are more likely to have current partners who develop cc. In my case my ex from years ago developed pin around the time I had cin - male version of cin and pretty rare in young men. We weren't together at the point but still good friends and able to talk about it. 



Thanks for your replies. We're both (me and ex) pretty much at the point of deciding not for my ex to tell his currnet partner, it's just that niggling doubt at the back of our minds that if the worse happenEd in the future we could maybe have done something to prevent it. I understand its unlikely to happen but my understanding is if he has high risk HPv (fairly sure he does) then shes likely to have it putting her at higher risk if developing abnormal cells, so yes it's that's niggling doubt.