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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Please help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:20 pm
Posts: 3
Thank you for your informative website. I have a few questions I would like to ask.

No symptoms, never had a wart. Neither did partner of 24 years. Positive HPV test noted after routine yearly gyn physical. Gyn states he only tests for high risk HPV and that I have not been tested previously.

Is it possible/probable to test postitive for HPV (first time tested) 13 years after exposure?
Is it possible/probable to test positive for HPV (first time tested) 24 years after exposure?

Once you have a positive HPV test (through gyn testing) does it always stay positive? Once the infection is "cleared" does the test then become negative on subsequent testing?

I have a history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and have read recent research regarding a correlation between abnormal pap smears and IBD. Since most if not all abnormal paps are related to HPV, could my h/o IBD make me more susceptible to remaining HPV positive for a longer length of time than the general population?

I had a plantar's wart on my foot for YEARS that was stubborn to treatment and would not clear. In the process of treating it and peeling off layers of the skin cells, etc. is it at all possible that I could have transferred this papilloma virus vaginally? Is it the same virus?

Would it be uncommon to have a positive HPV x 13-24 years and not have abnormal cervical cells?

How long has HPV testing been available? When did it become routine part of gyn exam for over 30 years of age? Did they ever routinely advise this HPV testing in deliveries, and if so, when did that begin?

If one tests positive for HPV on general exam after being faithful to her partner of 24 years (who has admitted to oral/genital contact and genital skin to skin contact 13 years ago with a third party) can it be possible that the HPV came into play 13 years ago or is it more likely that there has been more recent exposure/unfaithfulness?

If the infection can be from 13 or 24 years ago does that put me at a greater risk for developing cervical cancer than if it was a recent infection?

If the HPV testing "clears" in the next year or so, is that more of an indication that it was a more recent exposure than 13 to 24 years ago?

I am sorry that I have so much to ask. I am at my wits end and need to find some guidance on what to do. I appreciate any professional guidance you can offer. Through much pain and anguish we got through the initial indiscretion 13 years ago. I need to know whether this HPV is just another horrible thing from that horrible time or whether there has been further betrayal. Thank you for your expertise.

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Confused


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:14 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hello Confused,

Welcome to our HPV message boards. HPV DNA testing was approved in March of 2003 by the U.S. FDA for use, along with a Pap test, for cervical cancer screening with women over age 30.

HPV DNA tests cannot determine how long one may have had the virus before it's detected. Part of the difficulty is that while most HPV infections are "transient" in that the immune system is usually able to clear/suppress them in a matter of months, or sometimes over a year or two, the virus can actually exist in a latent state within skin cells, perhaps at levels that are undetectable, for an indefinite time. Most women who test positive for HPV DNA eventually test negative.

HPV DNA tests are very sensitive and can detect even tiny quantities of the virus, but it's tricky to sort out just how likely it is you may have had the virus for one length of time versus another. I realize this answer isn't very helpful, and I'm sorry we can't offer you more.

We haven't heard of any connection between IBS and HPV persistence, and can tell you the types of HPV that are found with warts of the hands and feet are not the same that would be detected in genital skin with "high risk" HPV testing.

Cervical cancer is not a common outcome of "high risk" HPV infection and is most often detected among women who have either never had a Pap (with or w/out an HPV test), or haven't had any screening for a number of years. The most important thing in this regard is that you go for follow up exams as directed.

If I unearth more specific information or data to share, I'll put an updated post on this thread.

All the best,
Fredo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:20 pm
Posts: 3
Dear Fredo,

Is it reasonable to assume that one could be HPV + for 13 or more years and not have any cervical changes? Is it possible to be HPV + for 13 or more years?

The research I mentioned re. IBD and cervical changes is titled "Abnormalities of uterine cervix in women with inflammatory bowel disease" by Jyoti Bhatia, Jason Bratcher, et.al. It was in the October 2006 World Journal of Gastroenterology. If you do a search at www.pubmed.net under the first authors name, the article will come up.

Thank you for the work you do.

Confused

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Confused


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:42 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Quote:
Is it reasonable to assume that one could be HPV + for 13 or more years and not have any cervical changes? Is it possible to be HPV + for 13 or more years?


Yes, most women who have HPV never have cervical changes detected on Pap tests and, as mentioned in my first post, the virus can exist latently for an unspecified amount of time (potentially years) before any such changes are detected.

Most HPV infections don't persist for many years, and studies show most women who test "positive" for HPV DNA will test "negative" eventually, usually within 6-24 months. Some HPV infections do persist and again, the fact the virus may be suppressed to a latent state while still existing in low levels within deeper epithelial cells (meaning it's not really eliminated), makes the question of "How long have I had this?" hard to nail down for certain.

The question as to how long one may go without cervical changes being detected on a Pap is easier for me to answer than a similar question about HPV tests, though, and I'll see if I can learn more to provide you with better insight.

Thanks for the information re: the research on IBS - very interesting and something about which I have no knowledge. Always good to get new info!

Hope this helps.

Best,
Fredo

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