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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:48 pm 

Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 1:59 pm
Posts: 16
Hi all,
I had a negative hpv pap last yr and this is my 2nd repap to make sure I am free of the virus. The nurse told me that the virus can live in your body. I have read that it stays usually for 2 yrs(sometimes in diff cases longer). I had sex with the same guy i have been sleeping with,(i have a thought that he maybe the guy who gave it to me, i dont know for sure.) That day my period started(few hours later). I didnt know my period was coming. Anyway, Is it possible that because it started that it might have helped to flush out if there was any virus? He used a condom(I made sure of that).
I have been pretty strict on eating alot of salads(spinach, brocoli, califlower,and carrots.) I have been dieting and I am doing well eating very healthy.
Does this help my immune system to kill this annoying as heck virus?
Is this virus sorta like the hsv virus? Does your body ever really get rid of this virus?
Thanks for all the replies in advance.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:53 am 
Site Admin

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

Thanks for the post. When the immune system clears HPV, as it will in most cases over a 6-24 month period (your mileage may vary, of course...), then for all practical purposes the virus is gone. There may actually be small, undetectable quantities that remain, as is the case with a number of viral infections we encounter throughout our lives, but not much to worry about there.

The timing of your period would have no effect on HPV. The healthy eating bit is never a bad idea, to keep your body and immune system as fit as possible. There is some research that suggests certain diets are associated with lower risk for cervical diseases, and I'll post an article about that below.

Take care!

Fredo

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:03 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Cervical Cancer and Diet

HPV News August 2008
(c) American Social Health Association All rights reserved


For years, women have asked ASHA if there are certain foods they should eat to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. We typically respond that while there aren’t specific dietary guidelines, eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is generally associated with reduced risk for cancer in general. Also, while obviously linked with lung diseases, smoking is also thought to play a role in the development of other cancers (including those of the cervix).

A recent study seems to back up that advice. Chaitali Ghosh, Ph.D., and a team of researchers from the State University of New York College at Buffalo examined the relationship between diet and cervical cancer risk.

The investigators used questionnaires to collect information about diet and medical backgrounds from female patients at Buffalo hospital. Responses from 239 women with cervical cancer were compared with those from 979 hospital patients with no cervical disease.

Diets rich in fiber, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, lutein, folate, and high total fruit and vegetable consumption were associated with a 40-60% reduction in risk, leading the researchers to conclude that plant-based diets have promise in reducing cervical cancers.

Click http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/ped_3.asp?sitearea=PED&level=1 to read the American Cancer Society’s FAQ about cancer and diet. This includes information on dietary fat and fiber, antioxidants, and folate.


Posted by Fredo

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:14 pm
Posts: 18
Hi Fredo,

When the immune system clears a certain type of HPV, is the body now protected against a future infection of the exact same type ?

I'm asking this for a practical reason: If during a monogamous relationship, you find out you carry HPV, and then you get clear of it, is it possible to get it again from your partner (assuming her/his body didn't clear it yet) ? If yes, it makes it impossible for a couple to get clear of a certain HPV, as most probably one of them will clear the virus before the other, but in that period of time he/she can get it again from the other partner..

Thanks
pave


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:57 pm
Posts: 5
While we're on the subject of Does HPV Ever Go Away? I'm wondering: can you have HPV, then be healthy, then get it again? Can you get the same strains multiple times? I had a diagnosis of a high risk strain about 5 or so years ago, then had several years of healthy paps, then about 6 weeks ago another diagnosis of both high and low risk kinds. I had told my current boyfriend that it had cleared so we didn't need to worry about it, but then when i got the more recent diagnosis i think he got mad, like maybe we should have known it would come back and that he was really at risk. Which feels pretty lousy I might add.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 17
Hey pavemagd,

My understanding is that once the body 'clears' a type of HPV, you then have type-specific immunity against that particular HPV virus. It's been described to me as being similar to chicken pox... the vast majority of us have been exposed to that virus and still probably technically carry very low levels of the virus, but you'd never even know it unless you were severely immuno-compromised (and maybe not even then). The body has antibodies to that HPV type that keep it in check. You could still get other high or low risk types of a different strain, however, which is why safe sex and/or Gardasil are still recommended.

The experts don't know for sure about the possibility of reinfecting a partner with the same HPV strain during the course of an active infection (i.e. while both partners' bodies are working on creating immunity), but the consensus from most I've spoken to or read seems to be that couples don't 'ping-pong' the virus back and forth. There is some evidence that when someone has an active wart/cervical lesion, using condoms may speed up the clearance process. My gynocologist told me I would most likely clear either way though, so my partner and I should do whatever we felt most comfortable with. We chose to use condoms until I received a normal pap just to be sure we were doing everything we could. It's all about your own comfort level.

A lot of this is summarized in one of the 'classic' threads. If you pick through the posts here, you'll find a lot of related questions and answers:
http://www.ashastd.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=208


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 17
dmp I was still writing my post when you posted, but I think some of what I said above probably applies to you too. I think most doctors would suggest that your latest HPV infection is probably the result of exposure to a different strain than the one that you dealt with previously. There are over 100 strains of HPV, both high and low risk types, so it's very possible to be exposed to multiple strains over the years. Since immunity is type-specific (i.e. if infected with HPV 16, you develop immunity to HPV 16 only, not 18, 33, etc), you can easily acquire a new strain if you have a new partner who carries a different strain.

With that said, I have read accounts where a person who has never had a diagnosis of HPV suddenly learns they have HPV after being married for 10 years with very low likelihood of cheating. It's possible that the virus can remain dormant for years and then 'flare up' during a time of high stress or other factors. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule, but it definitely does seem to happen.


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 Post subject: So...???
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:06 pm
Posts: 5
So if I get "clear" of a type of HPV, can I still transmit it? Everything I've read so far says "It never goes away and you can always transmit it even if you don't know or aren't having an "outbreak" (if you have warts)." Yet, I keep reading stuff about how the body most of the time will get rid or certain types on its own? It's not really a concern of mine because The person who I got it from (at least I am 99.99% sure as I have only had sex with two partners and the first was protected 100% of the time with condoms for 10 years of monogamy and we were both each other's first partners so it is highly unlikely I got it from him; the 2nd is my current mate whom is the only person I have ever had unprotected sex with) and we've been together for 3 1/2 years now and we aren't planning on separating anytime soon(!), but I'm just curious if anyone knows the answer to this. If my current mate and I were to ever break up in the future, I would want to know the answer to this as I would want to consider it as to not possibly infect someone else if I still could, even though I had "cleared" it from my system!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:14 pm
Posts: 7
Wart formation is actually the way HPV spreads to surrounding tissue. The virus itself infects a cell, replicates and spreads to neighboring cells that are in direct contact with the infected cell. These cells replicate and grow in an uncontrolled manner, and this is how the wart tumor is formed.

The wart itself, is not uniform throughout. The top layer of the wart is dry, and more easily flakes off. This infected skin that flakes off is able to create new warts if it flakes off and enters somewhere else in the anogenital area, through the top layer of skin (usually through abrasions, cuts, scrapes, etc.).

This is the mode of transmission that HPV has evolved to help propagate itself and spread throughout a host's/host's sexual partner's skin.

If you have no visible warts, you have a smaller chance of spreading the virus through the aforementioned flaking of dry, infected skin.

However, the virus is able to live in normal looking skin without producing a wart. If this normal-looking, but infected skin containing virus particles comes in contact with the lower layers of skin, there is a possibility the virus particle will enter into a new cell, and infect it, and possibly lead to the formation of a wart (or lay dormant).

Clearly, it's hard to speak in absolutes concerning HPV transmission.

The general consensus is that 6 months without any wart formation is enough to say your immune system has either completely eliminated the infection, or reduced it to undetectable levels. Of course, there are some people who will go 10 years without symptoms only to have warts pop up. There are always exceptions in medicine, but again - 6 months with no warts, it is most likely safe to assume you are unlikely to transmit the virus.


Sorry if this was long, I'm just in an informative mood. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:06 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reply! Hopefully I will also understand a little better also after I go to the Doc for a follow up visit and find out exactly WHAT type I have. Thanks again!


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