You can have HPV for a long time without ever knowing it. HPV can stay in the body for 10-20 years. Finding out you have HPV doesn't mean you or your partner have been unfaithful.
It's your decision whether or not to tell your partner you have HPV.
If you do decide to tell your partner you have HPV, it might help to include these points:
- HPV is very common in women and men who have ever had sex - four out of five people will have HPV at some point in their lives, and most won't even know it
- there is no treatment for HPV, and in most cases, HPV leaves the body naturally
- you can have HPV for a long time without ever knowing it, finding out you have HPV doesn't mean you or your partner have been unfaithful
- it is difficult to know who gave you HPV, both because the virus is so common and because it can remain dormant in cells for more than 10 years before becoming active
- there is no reason to stop having sex because you have HPV.
Some HPV types can also cause genital warts. If you have genital warts you may choose to discuss this with your partner as they might be at risk of developing them as well. Genital warts can be treated. Speak to your doctor or health professional for more information.