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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19465
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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, my wife passed away 7 years ago with cervical cancer. It

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, my wife passed away 7 years ago with cervical cancer. It was 10 years since id had another partner ; could I be carrying the papilloma 16 or 18 virus and if so what should I do to protect a future partner ?
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I am sorry that your wife died.

Yes, it is possible that you could be harbouring the HPV virus, although it is difficult to prove. Since we have no clinical test to detect HPV in a male, it is difficult to say with certainty how long it can be harboured in the male. However, it is fairly common that woman develop HPV positive cervical cancer years and even decades after sex that was outside a monogamous relationship. Therefore, the HPV virus must have been harboured in either the male or the female period of time, and it is reasonable to consider that it could affect both genders similarly.

As of any future sexual contacts, there are a couple of options. The common interventions would be the use of condoms. The exact effectiveness of condoms in reducing transmission of HPV is difficult to say, again because of the inability to detect the virus in males, but condoms are about 50% effective in reducing transmission of other STDs that are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Another option, which is not currently recommended, would be the use of the HPV vaccine potential partners. There are not any studies that look at the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine purpose, but there are good studies that show protection when the vaccine is given to early adolescent and young women.

It should be noted that HPV is so common that the odds are great that any potential sexual partner was exposed from prior sexual activity, although the number of sexual partners obviously affects the risk. But we have known that the risk cancer starts to increase with a lifetime number of sexual partners of ≥ 3. Although widespread use of the vaccine should alter the risk, the current evidence is that virtually everyone that is sexually active outside of a mutually monogamous relationship have come into contact with HPV at some point, some of which is the high risk strains. So, while there may be some increased risk to have sex with you, the odds are that she has already been exposed to HPV.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
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