ZocdocAnswersCan having sex with someone who is a carrier for HPV hinder my ability to fight off the HPV virus?

Question

Can having sex with someone who is a carrier for HPV hinder my ability to fight off the HPV virus?

I am a female recently diagnosed with HPV. I am trying to boost my immune system to fight the virus. Does having sex with my boyfriend who gave me HPV make it less likely or more difficult to get rid of the virus?

Answer

This is an important question to discuss with your primary care doctor. Once you contract a specific strain of the HPV virus, there is not much you can do other than wait for your body to fight it off. Most of the time, the body will eventually fight of the infection (and in fact most HPV virus infections are asymptomatic). Sometimes, however, the infection will persist and will cause genital warts or, in the case of higher risk strains, may cause changes in the cervix that can predispose to cancer. Although your question doesn't specify, I suppose that you found out you had HPV because of testing that was done during a pap smear, as that is the most common scenario. If so, that testing probably would tell you whether or not this was a high risk form of HPV, which would help your doctor determine how closely to watch for signs of precancerous lesions in the cervix. Another thing that you might want to look into is the HPV vaccine, which is available for women under the age of 26 in the United States. This vaccine might protect you against other strains of HPV other than the one you have contracted. Please talk to your primary care doctor to see if this is an option for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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