How long does it take most women to remit themselves of HPV so that it’s not contagious or detectable anymore?

by Rachel on July 1, 2010

I read that most women at some point became clear after they are infected with HPV. Is this true? If yes, how long it usually takes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Al LeGator July 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm

It varies depending on the general health and immune system. A few may never clear it, some will take longer, but in general, it’s in under 2 years

tarnishedsilverheart July 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Yes, in most women the virus becomes undetected by tests in about two years some women take longer. Thus far no doctor or researcher can guarantee that once we acquire and HPV type that we will never transmit it to a new sex partner. After a couple of years we probably are not as contagious. We also can acquire new HPV types with a new sex partner.

Most HPV infections are subclinical and transient (>90% clear within 2 years), resolving spontaneously presumably due to the development of a cellular immune response. In some individuals, HPV infection may produce benign genital warts and low-grade lesions of the cervix. However, in others, certain types of HPV may persist and possibly progress over a number of years to high-grade precancerous lesions and invasive cervical cancer

Most HPV infections resolve without symptoms (subclinical) at this stage, presumably due to the emergence of the host’s cell-mediated immune response beginning approximately 3 months after infection (Figure 17). This immune response either eradicates the virus or suppresses it to non-detectable levels. Therefore, it is not yet known whether an HPV infection that appears to have cleared clinically is really eradicated or simply remains below the sensitivity level for detection with current molecular techniques.

Some HPV infections are thought to be suppressed and their genomes maintained in a long-term latent state (i.e., subclinical infection with a very small group of cells presumably maintaining infection at low DNA copy numbers). Support for a latent state for HPV infection comes from the observation that in some women genital warts can resolve spontaneously only to recur (i.e., reactivate) during pregnancy or when the immune system becomes compromised (e.g., HIV infection). It is not yet clear how commonly latency occurs in immunocompetent hosts, its ultimate duration, the circumstances and mechanisms that trigger re-emergence of HPV into a detectable state, whether latent HPV infection is ultimately eliminated in most individuals, or whether latent infection can persist, possibly leading to cervical cancer

Currently, options are limited for both prevention of infection of patients with HPV-associated disease: infection can only be prevented with complete abstinence from all forms of sexual activity because condoms do not offer complete protection from HPV and HPV can be transmitted by nonintromissive sexual activities.

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