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Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: Can HPV be transmitted by means other than sexual contact?


 axis - Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:35 pm

In September 08 I had a Pap Smear and I got the results back a week ago. The Pap Smear showed LSIL and presence of Candida. I was told that this means I have a high-risk strain of HPV. I'm scheduled for another Pap Smear in February and I plan to ask for an HPV DNA test with it. In the meantime however, I'm very worried that I will give HPV to my mom and my younger sister and my dad because we live together (but they don't know I have HPV). Apart from sexual contact, can HPV be transmitted through sharing use of a toilet/bathtub/shower or doing our laundry together? If I also have HPV in my mouth from oral sex (although I don't know if I do), can I transmit it through my saliva? Please reply to my question... I am very very worried. Thank you!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:18 pm

User avatar Hi there -

HPV is transmitted via genital contact. The lesions (genital warts) by definition only occur in the genital region. Therefore, there's little to no risk of you transmitting HPV to any family members. It isn't transmitted via saliva, and the environmental risks of transmission as seen in certain other viral diseases (such as herpes) are not a consideration with HPV.

You needn't be concerned about sharing this virus with anyone you don't have genital contact with, and for those cases, the only way to be absolutely certain you won't transmit it is to avoid sexual contact. Since this is usually an unrealistic expectation, the other two things one should do out of consideration for any sex partner would be to either a) explain in advance and insist on a condom or b) just insist on condom use. Oral sex won't cause oral lesions, so the protection needs to be concentrated on the genital area. If you're intimate with one person with whom you share a committed relationship, this is one of those things you might eventually want to discuss with that person. Otherwise, just take the standard precautions. Also, please continue to follow up with your healthcare provider to be certain you keep ahead of this very noxious virus.

I hope this is helpful to you. Best of luck and please follow up with us as needed.

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