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First off lets get the terminology straight for everyone. HPV has over 130 different STRAINS not strands. Some are low risk which cause genital warts and others are high risk which can cause abnormal cell changes (dysplasia) and potentially cancer.
Secondly, if you already have one of the strains covered by Gardasil which are 6 and 11 (low risk/genital wart type) and 16 and 18 (high risk potential for cancer) then the vaccine will do you no good. You must be vaccinated before you become infected not after. This does not mean that getting vaccinated still isn't a good idea if you do not have all of them.
You mention that you are unaware if you have it personally since you are male. Where do you think women get it from? Males! However there is no way to identify from whom anyone got it from because it usually shows no symptoms and can then go dormant showing up weeks, months and even years later.
If she is having a colposcopy then she has to have something going on because the guidelines do not call for a colposcopy unless the patient has an abnormal pap test and/or positive HPV test indicating a current infection. Do you know what has precipitated this colposcopy?
Unfortunately this virus has been totally mischaracterized and focused on as a woman's disease. In males, HPV can cause (besides the low risk that cause warts) penile cancer, anal cancer, and recently identified are the oral cancers which occur mainly in men and if the increase continues as it has these cases will surpass the cases of cervical cancer in women. This is typically from oral sex but the jury is out on whether or not it can be passed through saliva. Poor awareness and education campaigns have failed to educate men not only on the risks for them but also the risks which they expose their partners to as well and the need for males to take responsibility for their part in transmission and getting vaccinated. Since HPV DNA has been found in semen, this can cause an increase in what is called the "viral load" (amount of HPVDNA in the body) and result in a woman's immune system becoming overwhelmed and her developing an overt infection. The use of condoms is preferrable even with married couples to reduce the womans risks. Condoms do reduce the risks of transmission but not much. It can still be transferred and usually is by simple skin to skin contact. Even touching yourself and touching your partner can spread the virus.
By age 50, 80% of sexually active people will have had an HPV infection and chances are you already have it. Just because you don't have warts only means you don't have the low risk strains you can still have high risk strains and yes you could go on to infect any future partner you are involved with. You can get more information at my website: thehpvsupportnetwork.org

September 9, 2011 - 5:39pm


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