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Disclosing Your STD Status

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

January 12, 2011 | 2:11 pm

Photo courtesy of STDTestingClinic.com

Dear Yenta,

I went to get my PAP and check on my sexual health status.  I was told the doctor would screen for HPV but that at my age (late 30’s) it was to act as a screening for cervical cancer. I was told it might appear only later to disappear and that in my age bracket it wasn’t really anything to be concerned with, just that I would have to come back next year rather than in two years (I guess they only do an every other year exam now).  I went and did my AIDS test, and had abstained for a 8 weeks to make sure I was “all clear” when they did the exam.  I began a new relationship soon after, and felt great to report that I was healthy. A few weeks into the relationship my results came in saying my HPV test was positive, but not to be alarmed. The meds that are available are for twenty somethings…so I was not prescribed anything.  Now the problem is when I started to research HPV I found that I may have passed on to my lover - because one only needs to have CONTACT even with a condom on.

There was also mention that he could already be carrying it and not know as men can’t really be diagnosed with it. Of course fear struck that I might have passed along unwittingly….and reading more about it is anxiety laden.  Why didn’t my doctor tell me it was transmitable?  Does it matter? Do I tell him what’s up, wait for the results of next year? I know honesty is essential but will it matter if he knows? I feel like it’s my business and that since he wouldn’t know if he was a already a carrier or is one now, and it doesn’t effect his health than why bring it up?

Hoping To Soon Be HPV Free

Click Here to visit AskYourYenta.com.

Dear HTSBHPVF,

Oye.  I am so sorry for your troubles.  First off, yes, your doctor should have told you more about how contagious HPV really is.  Second, as much as I hate this fact, sexual health and education are also an individual’s responsibility.  When diagnosed with a disease, especially one down below, it is always good to research the wazoo out of it, just to be sure you protect yourself and others.

For information on your STD, click here.  For STD testing, click here.

That being said, I also understand shutting down when the internet spouts terrifying data and statistics.  What this all boils down to is the fact that you are at present a sexually active adult with a “lover.”  This means that this “lover” may take other lovers, and, unwittingly, spread HPV like wildfire.  While yes, our own health is our own business, when we bed another we are inviting them into our physical storm.

Ie, by sleeping with this man you exposed your health to his health and mixed accordingly.  Now your HPV is his potential HPV and his potential HPV is your HPV, etc., etc.  Even if you don’t transmit a disease every time you fornicate, you are ALWAYS taking that risk, condom or no condom.  Diseases are mean and they jump ship fast.

The way I look at it:  if you are mature enough to have sexual intercourse, then you are also mature enough to have a conversation about the realities laced therein.  Talk to your lover and ask him about his history, now is a good time as any, and tell him about your HPV.  At the very least, you are preventing the proliferation of a mean little disease.  At best, you are owning your body, your actions, and your sexual relationship and rising to the occasion like a proper fierce woman.

Click Here to visit AskYourYenta.com.

Click here for tips on telling your partner about your STD and/or click here.


Follow AskYourYenta on Twitter

Ask Yenta an anonymous question!  Send an e-mail via www.send-email.org to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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