HPV Moral Issues

Can you still have sex?

Perhaps you or a friend has just been diagnosed with genital warts. You've learned that the virus that causes the symptom is called HPV-the human papillomavirus. You're wondering what happens now? Can you still have sex? Does a condom offer protection to future sexual partners?

When 100 women used condoms 100% of the time for the period of one year, 37 of them contracted HPV.

The answer is that condoms don't afford 100% percent protection against the HPV virus. However, the good news is that if condoms are used correctly, they can be an effective barrier against the disease. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June 2006, it was found that when 100 women used condoms 100% of the time for the period of one year, 37 of them contracted HPV.

A condom cannot afford total protection against the sexually transmitted HPV because they can break, and are not always used in the correct manner. It's also true that HPV is not only contracted through sexual intercourse. Any skin to skin contact with the infected area can bring on the infection, including genital rubbing, oral sex, and anal sex.

The fact is that HPV doesn't often cause symptoms in men. That main problem is that if your partner contracts HPV from you, he risks passing on the virus to his future female partners. That is why you should be forthright in discussing the issue with your partner. It's important for your guy to know that condom usage reduces the chances of his passing on the disease to future partners.

Gay and Lesbian Relationships

If you are in a lesbian relationship, you should make sure your partner is tested for the disease. If you both have the same strain of HPV, there is no good reason not to continue in your relationship, though you will both want to have regular pap smears every six months. If you are in a lesbian relationship and wondering about your risk for the disease, a study at the University of Washington's Department of Medicine found that of 248 women participating in the study who admitted to having sex with women, 31 of them were found to have HPV in their pap smears.

It is still not clear whether or not gay men can get anal cancer from HPV. Some doctors are urging gay men to have regular anal pap smears to screen for anal cancer. The makers of the Gardasil HPV vaccine are running trials on the effectiveness of the vaccine for gay men as a means of preventing HPV.