A few years ago I noticed a small bump at the shaft of my penis. I waited a few days before going to the doctor because sometimes I just get weird bumps and they disappear on their own. Anyways, this didn't and it turns out I have HPV. I had the bump removed and a few months later had another breakout. That was the end of it, but I still go back every six months or so to make sure. After all this happened I took a break from sex, mostly just because I felt really unsexy and like there was something wrong with me. Part of me also doesn't know how to tell people about it. I feel sort of confused because my doctor told me that chances are low I will pass it on, but I know I could have another breakout. I've been seeing a guy for a few weeks, we've messed around, but we haven't actually had sex yet and I want to. I feel like I should tell him before, but I don't know how and I'm afraid he's going to not want to have sex with me. Do I have to tell him?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Current estimations for prevalence vary between 45-90% of the population- and the CDC goes as far as to say "HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives." Basically, you're not alone. BUT, you didn't say you feel like you're the only one. You asked if you have to tell him. I think honesty is always the best policy when it comes to relationships, especially in the beginning when you're setting the ground work for what could be something long-term. Even more importantly, it's about health and your partner should be able to make decisions about his own health. With that said, how do you have the conversation? One thing you said is that you're afraid he won't want to have sex with you after you tell him. Unfortunately, it's true, he may not want to have sex with you after. But, that doesn't mean he may never want to have sex with you, he may just need a bit of time to wrap his mind around it and maybe do some research of his own. People generally just think, "oh, I won't get an STI, that only happens to those other people," they don't know how to react in the actual situation. When you bring it up, be open, honest, tell him you're nervous, and also do some research of your own- present the facts. If you're concerned that he's going to be an asshole, call you gross, make fun of you, tell all your friends, or something else equally as mean- THEN DON'T HAVE SEX WITH HIM. If someone is going to treat you like you're broken or there is something wrong with you, then better they are left in the dust, just keep walking.
Furthermore, you should be proud of yourself. You noticed there was something going on with your body and then went to the doctor to have it taken care of. Part of the reason the prevalence rate is so high for STIs is because people are embarrassed and don't seek treatment. You're on top of it, you're getting checkups and taking control.
Keep up the good work,