Hello and thanks for your post.
1) HPV-16 can result in GW in exactly the type (flat/subsurface) that I experience.
Right, HPV-16 can result in "flat" warts, as they're often called.2) HPV-16 is one of the most difficult for the body's immune system to supress as it has shown signs of not reacting to the immune system or otherwise taking longer.
There is research that shows HPV-16 tends to hang around a bit longer than some other types. To my best memory, this research is primarily done with women and cervical infections, specifically, but of course there may be a parallel with men. The tendency for HPV-16 to be more persistent is relative, though, as most type 16 infections are still cleared by the immune system. Once you have a given HPV strain, and your body's immune system surpresses it, they say your body will "remember" that strain and it rarely will resurface. I know from reading posts on here that is not always the case, but if you are fortunate to have that happen whereas no symptoms appears...you are assuming your body has developed an immunity to that particular strain, correct?
This process you describe in an inexact science and can vary from case to case. In very broad terms, though, the immune system does clear almost all cases of HPV (usually in 6-24 months) and, while recurrences aren't rare, they tend to happen in the first few months after treatment. Long-term issues are uncommon and, when they do happen, are observed more often in people who have a major illness or become immune suppressed (HIV+, organ transplant, etc.). On the same token, does that mean you cannot pass that strain on any longer? i.e. if your body is immune to it, has your body eliminated it entirely or just pushed that strain to a dormant state indefinitely (assuming it is indeed supressed) yet it still can be transmitted to others that have not developed an immunity to that strain?
This is the million dollar question. No one can really say "Yes, you no longer have to think about this after X amount of time." Most experts would say you're aren't likely to be able to transmit the virus to new partners forever, and the risks likely decline after - take your pick- months/a year or so of being clear. There is no way to prove this or to say "ok, NOW your risk of transmission is 30%, and in another six months it's 10%," and so on.
I, somewhat pitifully, attempted to address this in the thread at viewtopic.php?t=394
. Check it out if you have time.
Hope this helps. Please post again sometime.