He may not know he has HPV or herpes

He may not know he has HPV or herpes.

Most guys who have a sexually transmitted infection don’t know it. Routine testing for men does not provide information about HPV or herpes. So if you end up—like so many sexually active women on campus—getting bad news at the health center, don’t assume you’ve been lied to. When he told you he’s “clean,” that’s probably what he believed.

It’s easiest to transmit herpes or HPV when warts or sores are present, but it can also happen at other times, when everything looks OK. Condoms reduce the risk by 60-70%. So you may still pay a price, even if you both are tested and you use a condom every time.

One reason genital infections are so common in young women is because so many young men unknowingly carry them. The best course is to delay sexual activity, and eventually commit to someone who also waited. The closer you get to that ideal, the better your chances of enjoying a life free of these worries.