Should the partner of a woman who was found with HPV infection be checked?
Both women and men may become infected by HPV during sexual intercourse, and then infect their next partners. This is the rule in the majority of cases, because there are usually no visible lesions, only subclinical ones, and individuals infected with HPV are not aware of it.
Old infections become latent and may be activated again. When an infection is latent, neither men nor women are infectious. However, if at some point the immune system is suppressed, the virus is activated again and lesions reappear, presenting a renewed risk of transmission to the partner.
If genital warts are found in a woman, the recommendation is that her partner is also checked as a precaution. Men who see any lesions on their penis should also be examined. No routine examination is recommended for men simply because their partner was found with a subclinical HPV infection.
My partner was diagnosed with an HPV infection. What are the risks for my health?
Usually, both partners are infected, especially in longterm relationships.
If your partner was diagnosed with genital warts and you don’t have any, you should avoid any sexual contact until she gets treated and warts have disappeared. Optionally, you may be examined by a doctor in the event you have any unnoticed lesions.
If subclinical HPV lesions were diagnosed in your partner (by a Pap test, HPV test or a colposcopy) and you have no symptoms, it is not recommended that you do anything. You can, of course, get examined if you so wish, but there are no immediate risks to your health.