Can dormant HPV be detected by pap smear?

by Rachel on August 28, 2011

And when HPV is dormant, can you still be a carrier?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

runwithdeath August 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

No and absolutely.

kestrelk8 August 28, 2011 at 8:09 am

pap smears don’t detect any form of HPV. you must ask for a HPV test in addition to your pap smear. if you are a carrier but don’t display symptoms you CAN pass it on to others who it may or may not display symptoms as well.

Trying to do the right thing August 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

Yes, definitely if the pap smear specifically includes an HPV test. Even without a specific HPV test, HPV will usually cause an abnormal pap smear. If a woman has HPV, a test will detect it even if it is “dormant.” If a person has it, they are a carrier no matter what and can pass it on.

Unfortunately, there is no test to see if men have it.
Fortunately, the majority of women clear the virus from their bodies within two years and no longer have it, thus can no longer pass it on.

boogiedownjenny August 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

hpv is a virus and can be detected through the blood. every woman should ask their doctor to screen blood for hpv. this is the leading cause of cancer in women. as with all viruses practice safe sex. i believe you can transmit to others if you are a carrier.

brooke s August 28, 2011 at 9:27 am


Paula84 August 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

yes as a PAP smear is a specific test for HPV. Women with HPV usually have abnormal cells which are detected by the test. yes you definetly will be a carrier.

TELO August 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

Yes because at anytime it can become active. Even if your pap is normal you can still have an abnormal the next time.

Rae Rae August 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

yes it can because i have hpv no its not an std thats what people say but its not and yes you can tell by a pap smear thats how i found out but you need to get it looked at before it turns in to cancer of the undersis mine was only pre cancer cells…. but they removed them and it sucks but yes you can find out thowr pap smears

tarnishedsilverheart August 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

A pap smear looks for abnormal cell changes. A Pap smear can detect HPV that is causing abnormal cell changes. Our HPV test confirms our abnormal cells are due to high risk HPV types.

Yes. You can have HPV but still have normal Pap test.

Once HPV is not replicating it is not producing cell changes and it will not be seen in your Pap or in your HPV test.

The HPV test looks for viral load or cells per unit. When the virus is in a sleeping or dormant stage its virtual load is not detected. patient insert.

Yes there is a chance that you can transmit your past HPV infection when you are no longer producing cell changes or when the virus load is not detected.

Unfortunately once we have acquired an HPV infection we can’t guarantee that we will never transmit the virus…usually with time the virus is not as easy to transmit.

HPV can be contracted from one partner, remain dormant, and then
later be unknowingly transmitted to another sexual partner, including
a spouse.

It’s true that most often genital HPV produces no symptoms or
illness, and so a person who has been infected may never know about
it. Experts estimate that at any given time, only about 1% of all
sexually active Americans have visible genital warts. Far more women
have abnormal Pap smears related to HPV infection, but in many cases
health care providers do not explain the link between HPV and
cervical infection, perpetuating the misunderstanding.

The virus can remain in the body for weeks, years, or even a
lifetime, giving no sign of its presence. Or a genital HPV infection
may produce warts, lesions, or cervical abnormalities after a latent
period of months or even years.

The concern about life-long recurrences may be based on a
misconception rather than a myth. It’s true that at present there is
no known cure for genital human papillomavirus. As a virus, it will
remain in the infected person’s cells for an indefinite time–most
often in a latent state but occasionally producing symptoms or
disease, as we have discussed elsewhere.

. Most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms; therefore, most
infected persons are unaware they are infected, yet they can transmit
the virus to a sex partner. Rarely, a pregnant woman can pass HPV to
her baby during vaginal delivery. A baby that is exposed to HPV very
rarely develops warts in the throat or voice box.

Anyone who has ever had genital contact with another person may have
HPV. Both men and women may get it — and pass it on– without
knowing it. Since there might not be any signs, a person may have HPV
even if years have passed since he or she had sex.

Is there a cure for HPV?
There is no cure for the virus (HPV) itself. There are treatments for
the health problems that HPV can cause, such as genital warts,
cervical changes, and cervical cancer.

Warts can form weeks, months, or years after sexual contact with a
person who has genital HPV

Is it still possible to have HPV even if my Pap test was normal?
Yes. You can have HPV but still have a normal Pap test. Changes on
your cervix may not appear right away or they may never appear. For
women over the age of 30 that get an HPV test and a Pap test, a
negative result on both the Pap and HPV tests means that no cervical
changes or HPV was found on the cervix. This is great news, because
it means there is an extremely low chance of developing cervical
cancer in the next few years

No. There is no treatment or cure for HPV. However, there is
treatment for the changes that HPV can cause on the cervix, as well
as treatment for genital warts.

Warts may appear within several weeks after sexual contact with a
person who is infected with HPV, or they may take months or years to
appear, or they may never appear. HPVs may also cause flat, abnormal
growths in the genital area and on the cervix (the lower part of the
uterus that extends into the vagina). However, HPV infections usually
do not cause any symptoms.
Although there is no cure for HPV infection, the warts and lesions
these viruses cause can be treated (see Question 10).

Genital warts (sometimes called condylomata acuminata or venereal
warts) are the most easily recognized sign of genital HPV infection.
Many people, however, have a genital HPV infection without genital

Genital warts are very contagious. You can get them during oral,
vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. You can also get them
by skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or (rarely) oral sex
with someone who is infected. About two-thirds of people who have
sexual contact with a partner with genital warts will develop warts,
usually within 3 months of contact.

Genital warts are very contagious. You can get them during oral,
vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. You can also get them
by skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or (rarely) oral sex
with someone who is infected. About two-thirds of people who have
sexual contact with a partner with genital warts will develop warts,
usually within 3 months of contact.

HPV invades cells of the basal layer of the epidermis, penetrating
skin and mucosal microabrasions in the genital area.
A latency period of months to years may ensue

o Male sex partners of women with cervical intraepithelial
neoplasia often have infections of the same viral type.

reports that a viral replication protein known as E2 binds the
circular viral DNA to cell structures called spindle fibers that are
present in a cell when it divides, a process known as mitosis. In
mitosis, a single cell divides in two, creating two genetically
identical daughter cells. By latching onto the spindle fibers of the
cell as it divides, HPV DNA also divides and replicates itself in
each of the new daughter cells where it can continue to replicate and
persist indefinitely.
“In effect, HPV is able to mimic our own chromosomes, behaving as a
sort of `mini-chromosome’, independently replicating and keeping pace
as the cellular chromosomes replicate and the cell divides,” says Tom
Broker, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics and
co-author of the paper. “This allows the virus to remain in our
bodies indefinitely, with the potential of causing serious disease
years, even decades, after first exposure.”

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