Rejection after disclosure

Hi all, I was treated with LEEP in March but unfortunately the hpv test in September still came back positive (but fortunately no cell changes) . I’m 37. I have recently disclosed my HPV status (I’m positive for hpv16) to a man I was dating. I explained it is a really common virus and does no harm to most people, and also that there are vaccines available. Still, he was too afraid to continue to date… I am feeling really down about it. I just wanted to share…and I am looking for some positive stories about disclosure in a new relationship, to regain some hope….
Also , a question, I do hope that in some months/years I will clear hpv completely . If I test negative , do you think it will be ok not to disclose, or there is still a risk that the virus will come back and I could transmit it (the information is really confusing) ?

Hello Magda sorry this man reacted in such a childish way you are for sure better off without someone like that .
I don’t have any stories about disclosure with a new relationship I been with my husband for over 20 years ,but I am sure there is men out there smart enough to understand that hpv is common and not a normal STI. But the truth is that you have no obligation to disclose so don’t feel that you have to. Men don’t get tested so it is a bit of a let’s blame women game.
Take care and I hope you meet a nice guy

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Hi @Magda,

I am a 32 year old male with a different experience which will hopefully make you feel more at ease.

When I was 22 (2012) I had a red patch of skin on my penis which was easily noticeable, after being passed round a few doctors and clear STD checks it was diagnosed as pre-cancerous cells of the penis from a biopsy from a dermatologist, from memory I was told that this was likely to be the same virus that causes genital warts but was given no advice on future relationships or sexual intercourse moving forwards. I was young and I didn’t understand it all if I am completely honest, this was treated with aldara cream and was rectified within 6 months (visually). Over the next eighteen months whilst at university I had sexual relationships with 5 girls without disclosure due to lack of understanding, this is something that I personally regret although I know there is a lot of mixed information on whether disclosure is necessary.

In 2014 I began a long-term relationship with my partner & had no reoccurrence from my pre cancerous issue. It wasn’t until 2018 when I began reading on the subject, I understood that it was likely HR HPV which I had that had caused this and I suffered high levels of anxiety over this and gained advice from sexual health experts & GPs at the time which all reassured me that I did not need to disclose this retrospectively and girls were likely to be vaccinated & HPV has high clearance rates etc etc.

I struggled to shake it off mentally & still do so decided to partner trace (those who I could) and let them know that I previously had a pre-cancerous issue of my penis and just to be safe recommended getting a smear test. Again, I know disclosure of a past infection is questionable, however as for a period of that time I was likely to have HPV I felt it was the correct thing to do in my circumstance.

My long-term partner who I was open with from 2014>2020 was very supportive and although we broke up in the end her support over the HPV topic was a great help to me at the time.

To current day I have been with my current partner for 1 year and prior to intercourse I spoke to her about my past HPV infection, and we had an open conversation about this where I sent her information & she was very understanding & now very informed on the topic which is a great relief for me as I do still struggle from anxiety over not disclosing in the past.

What I am trying to say to you in a very long-winded way is please don’t think this reaction from a male partner is the norm. The majority of men & women are very supportive & understanding of the topic and a lot of positive work has been done in raising awareness of HPV and with the new style of HPV smear testing more people than ever will be testing positive for HPV & conversations will be much more prevalent on the topic.

Please don’t be discouraged but just do what you are happy with, many people don’t worry about disclosure due to the prevalence of the infection (40/50% will have come into contact with HR HPV after 2 years I was told by the American sexual health association) & I can understand this POV, however; if you feel this will cause you distress in the future like it has me then keep having the conversations with future partners, when you find the right person they wont give a stuff like my current partner.

Thank you Hop1 for support! I do hope i will meet someone more understanding… As long as the virus is active, I do prefer telling and explaining so that they have the chance to get the vaccine if they want to minimise any risk (it’s available also for men where I live)…. And in the meantime, I’m taking Ahcc supplements , eating healthy and hopefully in 6 months this virus will be gone!

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