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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:55 pm
Posts: 1

I was recently diagnosed with high risk HPV. A couple questions:

- Does the strain of HPV you have determine the outside symptoms you show? For example, do certain types produce warts and certain types only produce lesions on the cervix? Or can you get both lesions and warts? I have never had warts in my genital area but I believe when I had the coloscopy my doctor said lesions were visible. Does this mean warts could coming down the line, or do I have a strain that produces lesions only?

- Are warts more apt to infect your partner than a lesion on the cervix would, or are both equally as dangerous for infection?

- I know most cases clear up in 1-2 years, but how do you know when a lesion has cleared up on the cervix? Are you dependant on your doctor for this information?

- Assuming both partners have HPV but do not visibly show warts, is wearing a condom necessary as recommended?

- My doctor assured me that I (female) could not pass the HPV on to my partner (male). From what I've read this seems totally inaccurate, however he assured me of this several times. Is there any truth to what he said?

Thanks for your help!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:41 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: indiana

like you i was just found out thursday that i have gential warts. My doctor told me to make sure to use protection. And I have been have unprtoteced sex with my boyfriend. I am scared that he may leave me. now. Because he afaid he will caught it. The doctor told me that he may not have the vuise. but use protection. I know for about the last month on my own that what i had and i even went to the doctor and they told me wrong they told me that it was just infected hair. So i took the papers to my boyfriend and let him see them a coulple weeks later we where have intercourse and i stop and started cring telling him that place was not gone but that night he didn't care. I love my boyfriend and he know i do and he know that i didn't know nothing about this. The thing he think is why the warts are just now comeing out and not before. I took some information to him that said breaks out can happend 3 monthes to server years or may never have signs. I would go get a second doctor oppoin on it. Because not only do you want to protect him for this you want to protect yourself form other std. I hope this helps.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:46 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hello and welcome to our forum for HPV. We're glad to have you here with us.

The types of HPV found on the cervix are usually not the same kinds that cause external genital warts. Therefore, a female with "high risk" cervical HPV may never show symptoms of genital warts because she may not have been exposed to the type(s) of "low risk" HPV that can cause genital warts. Likewise, it would be difficult to test a male for the types of HPV that cause cervical infection because males typically do not show symptoms for the kinds of HPV that affect a woman's cervix. Men can carry these types without ever knowing it. Of course, it is possible to have both "high risk" and "low risk" HPV at the same time, and women do sometimes receive diagnosis of both abnormal cervical cell changes and vaginal or vulvar warts. Ask your health care provider to explain your specific diagnosis if any of this is unclear.

When one partner has HPV it is most likely that their current partner shares the virus, although this may be impossible to prove, as there are limited HPV testing options in most cases. Men do contract genital HPV, but as mentioned above don't have clinically detected lesions in most cases.

A great deal remains unknown about transmission patterns among couples and the guidance (including ours) is often inconsistent and confusing, to say the least. There are experts who don't think it is likely couples sharing the same HPV type(s) will "ping-pong" the virus back and forth to reinfect each, and we're not aware of any data that indicate this is likely to be an issue. Some studies suggest that using condoms might help both the virus and associated skin lesions clear a bit more quickly, so this is an option to consider.

Cell changes associated with HPV do recur in some cases, but by no means all. When they do recur, they show varying degrees of persistence. Some people may experience only one episode, while others may experience several. However, most people's immune systems, with time, seem to gain control over HPV, making recurrences less frequent and usually eliminating them eventually.

Follow up Pap tests are important, as there is no way to monitor whether or not lesions are regressing/appearing on your own.

The immune system is thought to assert itself over time and actually reduce the virus to very low levels. When this happens, it isn't clear to researchers if HPV is eliminated completely, or simply at a point where it's undetectable. There is no way to predict when this natural suppression may occur, however, and the virus may be contagious to a new partner in the meantime. Still, HPV does not appear to be persistent in most cases.

In regard to cervical HPV, if a person has been successfully treated (if needed) and has had no cervical abnormalities for a year or more, some experts would consider the risk of HPV transmission with a new partner to be extremely low.

Unfortunately, it is not known how long the period of being contagious may last, or when HPV could recur. However, the virus does seem to be transient for most.

Wow - that's a long answer! I hope it helps and that you'll visit us again.

All the best,

ASHA Moderator

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