can you live with hpv for 3 years and not know?the kind that causes genital warts?

by Rachel on May 31, 2011

My friend has been with her bf for 2 1/2 years and recently found out she has hpv. she has never cheated?
they both had multiple partners before each other. She takes pap test every year and it never came back abnormal.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

HelpIzOnTWay May 31, 2011 at 6:23 am

Most people infected with HPV do not even know they have it. In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears the virus naturally within 2 years. There are many types of HPV, only a few actually cause genital warts or cancer (cervical, vaginal, anal, etc.) Also, they types that cause warts are not the same as the the type that cause cancer. Did she have sex with anyone before her bf, or did he?

buttercup May 31, 2011 at 7:19 am

Absolutely, the majority of folk who have HPV will not know it- they will not get warts and their immune system will fight off the virus. Also there are different strains of HPV and not all cause genital warts. Problem with HPV is that condoms don’t protect against it as it is passed on by skin to skin contact of the genitals and a condom does not cover the whole genital area. Also, pap tests look for abnormal cells that may cause cancer, they do not look for HPV. When you go for a regular pap you do not usually get tested for HPV unless you request it so a woman could have several normal smear tests but still have HPV.

tarnishedsilverheart May 31, 2011 at 7:37 am

It sometimes takes years before abnormal cell changes are seen in a Pap test. Having an abnormal Pap test with a positive HPV test doesn’t mean that anyone in the relationship cheated…it only mean that the virus that could have been acquire with her present or any past partner the immune system kept the virus in check…in a latent state… is now in an expressed state showing abnormal cell changes.

A past negative Pap test only means at the time of the Pap test there were no abnormal cell changes. The doctor could have missed abnormal cells since this is just a sampling of cells. You can have HPV with no abnormal cell present.

In most young women the virus returns to the latent state within a few years.

Having HPV does not mean that you or your partner is having sex outside of your relationship. There is no sure way to know when you got HPV or who gave it to you. A person can have HPV for many years before it is found.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/pap/default.htm
It is usually impossible to determine
when, and from whom, HPV was caught. HPV may be detected fairly soon after
exposure, or may not be found until many years later
http://www.asccp.org/pdfs/patient_edu/women_should_know.pdf
HPV infection is common in adults who have had more than one sexual
partner (or a single partner who has had multiple partners) and can persist for
years with no symptoms.
HPV DNA has been shown to be present in approximately 10% of women with normal cervical epithelium
http://www.thehpvtest.com/~/media/5C4BD0982BED4E3788F65B36AF829AAD.ashx
http://www.asccp.org/hpv_history.shtml

jojo May 31, 2011 at 8:34 am

yep it never goes away and can flair up at any time

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