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Home Ask the Experts Ask the Experts HPV in Relationships

HPV in Relationships

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Within an established relationship, if one partner is diagnosed with any HPV disease what does that mean for the couple’s sex life?
The partners almost certainly will share an HPV infection, which could have been present indefinitely prior to any diseases being diagnosed. There seems little point, then, for those in on-going relationships to be fearful over continuing to be sexually active. Condom use probably isn’t necessary in relationships where HPV is shared. That HPV may be present for an extended interval before diagnosis of either the virus or related diseases is especially important for patients to understand, given that HPV detected within an established relationship often raises questions about sexual fidelity.

Does a partner of someone diagnosed with HPV need to be examined?
It isn’t commonly recommended that someone be examined when their partner is diagnosed with HPV, unless of course they notice any symptoms. This goes against the instincts shared by many that something, anything, has to be done! Since the vast majority of HPV are asymptomatic, and testing for the virus has limitations previously discussed, there’s typically no need for a partner to be evaluated.