My ex girlfriend had HPV - what do I do now?

Hello everyone,

Sadly, my girlfriend and I broke up several months ago, and I am left with great uncertainty on how to approach my future sex partners.

My ex girlfriend had HPV (not the warts causing strains) and did not disclose it to me only until after we have had sex (since her doctor said it was not neccessary). We have been together for about 2 years, and always used condoms. During our time together, her tests were always good, but the virus was detectable via PCR.

Today I believe that the chances of me carrying her HPV strain are fairly low, since even if I was exposed I probably cleared it by now (first exposure was 2.3 years ago) but I can never be certain...

I am now wondering if I should have "the talk" with future partners or just go on with my life as some doctors (including my own) suggest. I know that 70-90% of sexually active adults will be subjected to HPV but I am afraid that many people in my country are uninformed and talking about it can cause unneccessary stress.


What would you do?

Hi sega

I think we should all be aspiring to a world where we are well educated about health matters.  So I would say we should all be having the discussion about HPV in order to normalise the subject; in that way we are all in a better place to know how to best manage our health - when it comes to HPV that means the number one priority is for women to keep up to date with their smear tests. 

Will it cause unnecessary stress?; hopefully not with the right approach and information -  there is some good information on this website - see folllowing link:

Will it mean it might scare a future partner off?  So they can find someone who doesn't have HPV - Um - there's a challenge!

But of course the choice is entirely yours; you shouldn't feel you have to talk about HPV with future partners.  But I would emphatically advise to have the discussion about the importance of keeping up to date with smear tests; that's something me and my husband never did which is a shame - see my back story.

Take care


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Thank you very much for your input and story.

I forgot to mention that I'm a male, so there is no way for me to know if I carry her HPV strain. 

I guess that all sexually active males my age (in my country only younger men get the vaccine) should assume they carry at least one strain of HPV, yet most people are ignorant regarding this situation...

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I've done a lot of awareness raising about the importance of smear tests since my diagnosis; wherever an opportunity arises I start a conversation.  I have found that women who have a supportive social network are more likely to keep up to date with their smear tests.  In that social network I include sexual partners;  I've met and have been  impressed by some lovely boyfriends/husbands who know and care that their girlfriends/wives are going for cervical screening.

And yes the vast majority of us, male and female, will be infected with one one or more strains of HPV at some point in our lives - it's pretty much the norm.  For most, HPV is harmless; I don't think anyone one knows why it ends up causing cancer in some women - and a few men come to that.


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How about setting an appointment to a Doctor for you to be sure if you are a carrier or not. As to your future relationship, better tell her that your ex girlfriend had HPV and you maybe, at some point, a carrier. Being open regarding this things would be a good foundation in a relationship. It creates trust among yourselves. 

 Unfortunately, there are no HPV tests for men, so like all sexually active men, I cannot know if I am a carrier but should assume that I was a carrier at some point in my life.

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 Unfortunately, there are no HPV tests for men, so like all sexually active men, I cannot know if I am a carrier but should assume that I was a carrier at some point in my life.

I absolutely Love the fact you have come on here and asked the question!

The world is not such a bad place after all.

So from my point of view, and after having been told I have hpv this morning, I will give you my opinion on things.

To me, I would appreciate being told, that way I can get regular smears, use protection albeit not 100% and at least have closure about where it might have come from if I did test positive in the future.

For a man to understand and realise the importance in this is brilliant. I wish people were educated in this and then the stigma wouldn’t be there. When I got the news this morning I immediately felt dirty and ashamed of myself. Why did I let this happen to myself. But in reality, it’s something I maybe couldn’t have controlled :woman_shrugging:t2: