No support

I don’t really know where to start, or why I am writing this, it maybe only to finally get it out of my head.

I contracted low risk HPV in my teens and had one treatment for genital warts which thankfully was successful. I lived for many years with it always there in the back of my mind, had my body cleared the virus as I had not had any flare up? I requested a test for strain 6 and 11, the two that cause genital warts and was told they don’t test - why not? I have found no emotional or psychological support out there for people in my situation and I don’t know if it’s because it is classed as low risk and therefore not life threatening, maybe, but I do know it has drastically affected my life to the point where I have been in a very dark place mentally. Twenty years on and I am now dealing with a flare up again and face the realisation that this is likely to be with me for life and questioning what’s the point when there appears to be no research into helping fight/cure low risk HPV.

I don’t want to give anyone genital warts and as condom’s cannot 100% keep you safe, it would seem my sex life is over.

Dear Janeyjoo,

It seems to me that you’ve been torturing yourself for years over this issue, which is really sad. Time to let it go, I think. Many people get warts. Many people get cold sores (Herpes Simplex) which is the same type of virus as HPV - it stays dormant in your body because your immune system keeps it under control, but flares up at times of low immunity or stress. If you have a flare up, might be good for a partner to wear a condom (not even 100% safe for birth control, but drastically reduces the probability of transmission), but important that you try to de-stress to get over this period. There are around 200 variants of this very common virus, but tests are only available for variants that can cause serious harm - high risk - to tissues like the cervix. I do think it would be helpful for you to get some counselling, because something about that original infection has haunted you in such a way that it has become a dark place that is threatening to obscure all the happy things in life.

You’ve made an important step - you’ve posted on here and put voice to your fears - now try and get some help to put this in the box of ‘irritation’, where it belongs - not ‘doom’. X