Yours is a very common concern.
There are a few things that you can do that may lower your risk of getting HPV.
First, use condoms during sex. This will lower the risk of HPV passing. However, condoms will not protect you completely. HPV can be found anywhere in the genital area and if your partner has it in an area that is not covered by the condom, the virus could still be passed to you.
Second, get vaccinated against HPV. The vaccine protects you against the two strains of HPV that cause most genital warts and will also protect against the strains of HPV that cause most types of cancer related to this family of viruses. The problem with the vaccine is that it takes a minimum of 7 months before you will have the maximum protection and so that would mean no sex until then. The vaccine will not protected you against strains of the virus that you may all ready have.
So what to do?
– HPV is a very common virus. 70-80% of adults will have at least one HPV infection in their life. You may all ready been exposed to the strain of HPV your partner has and not know it because you did not develop warts.
– Most people who have HPV will never know they were exposed to the virus and will experience no health issues related to it.
– The strains of HPV that cause warts are not the same as those that can lead to some types of rare cancers.
– Your partner will eventually clear the virus, which means that he will not be able to pass it to you. If he was treated for warts in January and has not noticed any other warts since, this may have all ready happened.
– If you do develop warts, they can be removed quite easily.
All interactions between people have some risk related to them and sex is no different. HPV is like many viruses that pass through contact with other people; the difference is that it can affect our genitals so we tend to consider it more serious.
Check out our page on HPV and genital warts and the resources listed there if you would like more information.
Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.
For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.