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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:21 pm
Posts: 1
I need to know if you can answer a few questions.

I was told yesterday that I tested positive for HPV...I had a Pap two weeks ago.

I immediately called my boyfriend and laid into him about what he'd been doing...surprisingly, he admitted to cheating a year and a half ago. That is a whole separate issue though. He said he got tested three times before becoming physical with me...however, I now know that HPV is not detectable on males.

My dr. office specified cell changes and I'm due to go for a colposcopy. I know there is no way to time the transmission of this virus; however, I read somewhere that cell changes means the virus has been there for sometime and may have just been dormant. It's been six years since I've been with someone else, and every other Pap I've had has come back normal. Is it just a coincidence that he cheated 1.5 years before I tested positive for HPV? Or could I have been carrying it long before that (hence the cell changes)?

Thanks in advance for your help. I have a call into my dr. office, but they're taking they're sweet time.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:37 pm 
Site Admin

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

Glad you joined us. Below is an excerpt from a post where I responded to someone else who asked a similar question:

Much of the literature says while the average “latency” period of the virus is often thought to be anywhere from one to eight months, it can actually vary widely.

Exactly “how” widely? It’s difficult to say with certainty, but experts typically agree it may take years after exposure before lesions associated with HPV (that is, warts or cell changes) are detected clinically.

This is because HPV can actually exist in deeper skin cells in very small numbers without causing disease, such as warts, that is easily detected clinically. This may go on for an indefinite number of years. It’s difficult for researchers to pin down exactly why some will experience lesions that are diagnosed while others do not, but co-factors could involve smoking, pregnancy, stress, diet, or a host of other things that can affect the immune system.

We understand it’s frustrating that no one can offer a definitive response to your individual circumstances. The “who” and “when” questions, however, may never truly be answered.

Ok, I know that's something of a "nonanswer" but it's hard to know just when you were exposed. If you've yet to do so, ask your health care provider if the recommend testing for other STIs (I say that simply as a precaution).

I wish there were more to offer you, and I'm sorry we can't be more specific, I hope that helps, though. Post anytime and keep in touch.

All the best,

ASHA Moderator

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