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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:20 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
The question of how long one might have HPV before any warts or cervical cell changes (or other HPV-related conditions) are diagnosed is a thorny one, and causes understandable stress in many relationships.

My stock answer is "it can take weeks, months, or even years (no limit) after exposure to the virus before anything is detected clinically." Some in our message board community question that, saying they can't believe it might take a decade or longer before anything shows up or is found.

So, in my never ceasing quest to provide top-notch customer service to you, dear board user (and you all are in fact very dear to me) I recently solicited input from physicians/researchers who work with the Federal government and who have expertise in this area.

The responses were very helpful to me. My expert colleagues explained that while there isn't much scientific data here, there is a good amount of anecdotal information.

The consensus is emphatically that yes, HPV infection may be latent for many years, and no upper limit on this has been established. One recent study, I was told, demonstrated that persistent HPV infections (those that don't clear naturally) has been documented in college-age women for as long as 12 years. Of course, longer intervals are also possible.

In response to the scenario of, say, a woman who has been married and for 20+ years and who just recently had an HPV-related abnormal Pap, the answer was clear: we cannot definitively attribute her current diagnosis to infidelilty on either her or her husband's part.

Having said that, it doesn't prove that in such an example one partner hasn't been with someone else, only that we just don't know. It is not unreasonable, however, to suggest today's abnormal Pap is the result of an HPV infection contracted many years ago.

Fredo

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Last edited by Fredo on Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:12 pm
Posts: 92
"HOW LONG COULD I HAVE HAD HPV PRIOR TO DIAGNOSIS?"

The other question is what exactly triggers the virus after being exposed.

I believe mine was triggered after going through two months of awful stress with no sleep and weakening my immune system which gave the virus an opportunity to come out of hiding. But that took over a year, for others they are exposed and show symptoms several weeks later.

So for those who show the symptoms several weeks later is it because of a weak immune system or are the symptoms really a sign of the immune system responding to it and the virus has to respond to the immune system attempting to take it down which is why they show the symptoms early on.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:49 pm
Posts: 1
I searched the forum to find my answer, but couldn't find the information.
I do understand that HPV can stay undetected in your regular tests for years. And nobody can tell for sure who got it first and when. But what I understand from all the material I could find is, that a pap smear comes out HPV positive when the immune system is down, especially when you are pregnant.
So, my question is, if someone has been married for 10 years, had a first pregnancy 2 years ago with regular pap smear tests done throughout and after pregnancy with no HPV detected, and then get it positive in the second pregnancy, isn't it a 99% likelihood that one of the partners got a virus during the last 1.5-2 years, because during any pregnancy your immune system lowers down its defense system?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:03 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi p4elka,

It's true that during pregnancy the immune system is suppressed and as a result some women with HPV will have warts detected or an abnormal Pap test. I don't think this happens in every case though. I don't know the answer to your question, but suspect it's possible that there is an explanation besides infidelity that would explain why HPV was only more recently detected. Just how likely that may or may not be, I wish I could say.

Sorry I can't help more, there's just so much about HPV that is up in the air, and the answers aren't consistent from case to case.

All the best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:09 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:15 pm
Posts: 11
I started getting unusual discharge with itching about two weeks after I believe I contracted HPV, and it took the warts 4 months later to appear. Is it likely that the discharge (which has not gone away, in spite of anti-fungal treatment) is related to the HPV, and what could it mean, since I don't believe that's a usual symptom?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:19 pm 
Site Admin

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

You're right that discharge is not commonly part of having HPV. It's hard to say what might be causing that in your case, as women can have discharge for lots of reasons. If you've yet to do so, ask your clinic about it to see if they recommend and testing and/or treatment. Most conditions that cause discharge are treatable, you just have to find out what the cause might be.

Check back with us if you don't mind.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:15 pm
Posts: 11
Hi Fredo,

Thanks for your concern, just wanted to give you an update that after getting examined again today, I apparently have a high concentration of WBCs but no yeast or bacteria were found. Based on the two negative tests each I had for chlamydia and gonnorhea, the nurse practitioner deemed it unlikely that this would be my problem, especially given that my other symptoms don't really fit the description properly. There's definitely an infection though, and I will be going back next week. If I'm still having the discharge problem, I was told there's a possibility it could be an uncommon strain of yeast. Does that sound like something you've heard about before?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:02 pm
Posts: 24
hello fredo and all-

i think i understand from reading info on HPV that the virus typically has the worst symptoms during the first 8 to 12 weeks (post first GW or related GW signs/tx)

and that many people have a relapse or worsen symtoms of GW at a 3 months mark?

information on this HPV virus is confusing

thanks for the info


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:02 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Recurrences are not unusual during the first three months and while they can really happen anytime, aren't often seen in someone who's gone six months without new warts developing. It's all very confusing, because it doesn't work the same in every case!

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:29 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:32 pm
Posts: 6
Location: North Carolina
That mean that if you have 2 pregnacies in the pass 14 years and never you were diagnos with that, and only you have one person in bed your husband, is posible that only husband did it?


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