How To Know If You Have HPV
Because the human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, it is important to learn about how to know if you have HPV. The Center for Disease Control estimates as many as 50 percent of sexually active people will contract HPV at some point during their life. Follow these steps to make sure you know your HPV status:
- Have your partner get tested. The only way to know for sure if you have HPV is if you are experiencing symptoms and your doctor performs a biopsy on the warts. Other than that (and in very rare cases, anal pap spears) there is no way for men to be tested for HPV. The best way to determine your likelihood of having HPV is to have your partner get tested.
- Have your partner get tested again. If your partner was recently infected with HPV, it might not show up on a test right away. Your doctor might ask her to get re-tested in six months, depending on how recently you both started having sex and how many sexual partners both of your have had. If your partner is under 30, her doctor might have her wait longer to be re-tested.
- Know the symptoms. There are at least 40 different strains of HPV. Some strains of HPV cause genital warts to appear around the genitals. The warts can be small or large and flat or raised and others do not. Even if you don't have symptoms (and many men don't), you could still be infected with the virus, and expose your partner to HPV. Some strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer in women.