I’ve been potentially exposed to a cancer causing strain of HPV. I am not immune, I am not a superhero who can’t be hit. My partner Captain, had sex with someone who has recently been diagnosed with HPV.

To say that I’m unconcerned would be a lie. To say that I think I need a drink would also be a lie, because I both need a drink and am concerned. I love Captain, not in the marry him and have his babies kind of love- but I do love him. I do think my life would be much less good without him in it, besides we owe it to good sex to keep having sex together.

This exposure puts everyone in an awkward position. There is no test for HPV if you don’t have the sometimes accompanying warts. Is he obligated to tell his other partners that he has been exposed, even though it was four or five months ago? (worth noting: HPV is usually naturally cleared from the body in two years. Often times less) Am I obligated to tell my partners that might have been exposed? I don’t know.

I know that the transmission rates for HPV are very small for the male penetrative partner in penis-in-vagina sex. I also know that as someones partner- I’d like to know. But it all circles back to that Captain doesn’t know and it isn’t for lack of trying or because he’s dirty and uneducated. It’s because there is no test for people in his circumstances.

I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. This isn’t clean, or easy for anyone. I know that I’m almost vaccinated for the big cancer causing strands of HPV and that Captain and I will be using condoms until I’m fully vaccinated. I don’t know if I’ll be giving any new partners a heads up that I may have come in contact with it.

I do know that this doesn’t make me, or Captain or even the person who exposed Captain dirty or unclean.  It doesn’t give them license to think any less of them, or me, or anyone else who may have or has been exposed.


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