Seeking HPV information

So much to read on here which is comforting but I am still looking for answers if anyone can help. I have been with the same sexual partner for 4 years. First smear a few months after relationship started in December 2018 and all clear but not sure if tested for HPV (trying to find out). Next smear end of 2021 showed HPV. I felt so shocked and that my partner was/had cheated on me and cannot get it out of my head. It has caused us both so much strain and effected us both mentally. Not had sex since summer due to this. Had the 12 month follow up smear in December 2022 and thankfully was all clear. I was relieved but my partner says he feels ‘dirty’ that he had given me something and doesn’t want to touch me and make me positive again. I think we are both scared we have something and will pass it back. We are both struggling to move on and getting nowhere. Any help would be so appreciated as neither of us want to finish our relationship. I must confess that in my head I still think he may have cheated and I feel so bad for that keeping popping in my head. From what I have read this could have all started from way before we met but I need to get it clear in my head to move on and to help reassure him that we are ok to be sexually active again. Thank you.

Hi @Evie2

HPV+ is definitely not an indicator that someone has cheated, it can lay dormant in our bodies for many years even decades… nobody really knows who we got it from or when we got it, but its assumed we contract it within the first year of being sexually active, thats why the vaccine is offered to school children before they explore… only having 1 sexual partner gives us upto 70% of contracting it, regardless of if protection is used

You wouldnt have been tested for HPV in 2018 if your sample was clear for abnormalities, before 2019 they would only test for HPV if the sample showed abnormal cells, whereas now the sample is tested for HPV first then if that is positive they will check for abnormalities (if its negative they wont bother checking the sample further) my smear in 2017 didnt have abnormalities so no HPV test was done my next one in 2020 was HPV+ borderline change, and id had no sexual activity between

There is no such thing as getting reinfected with the same strain or passing it back and forth once we have a particular strain we always have it our bodies create antibodies so if we are ‘re-exposed’ with the same strain we cant contract it again, when we test negative after a positive our bodies have supressed it into inactivity enough so its undetectable on the test its also unharmful in this state, but there is no reason why you should stop having sex… HPV is apart of life, its not something that we can avoid nearly all sexually active people are dealing with it currently either knowingly or unknowingly, condoms reduce the risk but it doesnt cut it out completely as it only covers the penis not the full genitalia

I hope you both get through this, this virus shouldnt be a relationship breaker xx


Thank you so much for you reply and information. I just need my partner to take note of it too x