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Can HPV go away on its own?

By Anonymous April 13, 2009 - 1:08pm
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I was just diagnosed as being positive for HPV and will have a culposcopy in a few days. I've done some research and have read that once you have HPV that it will never go away. But I asked the nurse at my doctor's office and she said that in some cases, the HPV will just go away and your body will recover on its own. If that's the case, how often does that occur? What are my chances that my HPV will just eventually go away?

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Doing all he can to boost his immune system is the priority. Smoking has been shown to increase HPV persistence so quitting would be of benefit if possible. Use of condoms despite your monogomous relationship so his viral load is not increased by being exposed to your infection. Visual inspection for signs of any genital warts is also recommended as there is no commercial test available for men at this point. You should also both get the vaccine. Gardasil protects against two high risk and two low risk strains while cervarix only protects against the two high risk strains. Whil this is your decision to weigh for yourselves my daughter received it at 16 as soon as it was released in 2006.

August 8, 2011 - 10:09am
(reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

How hi are his chances of actually becoming sick with this being a male or in most cases will it stay dormat?

August 8, 2011 - 1:38pm

I am a 21 year old female, and I was diagnosed with HPV as of this morning after I cried a little I decided to become empowered and reading your stories and how you stick together is helping me through this tough time of frustration and sadness. I keep on the up and up for myself however I worry about mu fiance'. I have informed him that I am infected and tha he may be also but I worry since he may not be as healthy as I... and what this virus may do to him... any advice?

August 8, 2011 - 9:54am

First off I fail to understand your comment "she gave me a rash with her underwear" HPV does not appear as a rash, it appears as lesions which can sometimes be small and clumped together but based upon most people's interpretation of a rash, HPV does not present like this. Now just whose rash started getting worse and never healed you or her? Did you actually GET a rash. HPV usually shows up about three months after you're acquired the virus and can then become dormant for months, years or even decades. What makes you so positive that you have HPV?
Men typically develop genital warts from HPV, have you had any of those?
As for not being able to afford it, you certainly can go to a Planned Parenthood Clinic and someone should be able to take a look at you and possbly even run an HPFtest or anal/penile pap.
It certainly be very discouraging and even depressing to have an STI but you aren't even positive you have one yet. You also cannot blame her for your choice of how to handle it, i.e. - drinking. That is your choice and there are alcoholic's aonymous meetings for free every night of the week just check online if you think your drinking has gotten that bad.
HPV IS a virus and becoming dormant is not the same as going away. It's unfortunate the some people utilize terms like this or "clear" only confuses patients. Symptoms can go away which really only means they have become dormant. They may not even show up again.
You can also check out thehpvsupportnetwork.org, resources page. Hope this helps. Please reply to the questions and we'll see if we can figure this out for you.

June 16, 2011 - 6:21am
EmpowHER Guest

hey everybody
im a 20 year old mathematics student and i think that i might be infected with hpv.

so a few months back i was 'talking' to this girl to see if we can spur up a romantic relationship; we got along great.

one day in the heat of the moment, not actually having sex, she rubbed her private parts with mine, i didnt think much of it at the moment other than the future of our relationship.

following this encounter i notice she began to change, she was acting very different with me to the point that i decided to confront her about it, we walked around a park and there she told me how she had gotten HPV from her ex-bf.

we never actually had sex or any kind of sexual contact other than that one time.

as time went on, me and her, broke it off and decided to stay just as friends; meanwhile i had notice that the day that me and her had our small intimacy episode, she gave me a rash with her underwear, which was wet with her fluids; i started putting the puzzle together as i notice that the rash never healed and started getting worst.

im very positive that i might be infected too but i honestly do not know where to go , who to tell, or what to do now that the damage is done. i completely blocked this girl out of my life as i find it impossible to actually have to confess this dark secret to anyone. my financial situation does not allow me for me to see a doctor as i have not been in a hospital in over 10 years since i came to America.

im so depressed, ive started developing drug issues to help me cope with this. ive become extremely isolated to the point that i dropped out of college. all the things i see online only make me hate myself even more for this. No cure. No test for men. and plus seeing myself in this tough financial situation has made it even harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

one thing that ive been really confused about is how some sites explain how it can "go away", but how?? is it not a virus??
and how can i ever know if there are no test for men?!?

June 16, 2011 - 2:55am
EmpowHER Guest


My name is Luke. I'm a 28 year old male. I've just spent the last hour reading through the 20 pages of comments on this thread.

It seems the vast majority of people answering questions are educated in the medical profession and provide wonderful, in-depth answers. I think that says alot about the human spirit.

However, there still appears to be some small variations in regards to some of the answers.

I have been diagnosed with genital warts (low-risk hpv). The warts I had were removed. A few years later, another outbreak of the warts occurred and have since been removed.

The following are a few questions as they relate to my situation. Hopefully the answers will help others with similar questions.

1.) After the warts are completely removed, can you still pass on hpv to another person? Some answers in this thread indicate that you can only pass the virus to someone if you have a current wart and there is skin to skin contact. Others indicate that a wart does not have to be present to pass on the virus.

2.) I've read on this thread that a second outbreak of warts can indicate a weakened immune system. Is this true or can it happen to anyone? I will say that when my second outbreak occurred, I was under an immense amount of stress. Apart from that, however, I am completely healthy and seem to have a strong immune system. I have tested negative for ALL other stds to include hiv and have no other known health issues. I am also positive that the second outbreak was not due to an exposure to a new straind of hpv because I haven't had sex with anyone else.

3.) I'm interested in a girl right now. We are only talking and have not even touched eachother in any way. I plan on telling her about my hpv diagnosis. I was hoping to get advice on what I should tell her about the risk my condition poses for her and what she could do to protect herself if she is even interested in talking with me after I tell her.

4.) My doctor told me I should get the hpv vaccine to protect myself against other hpv strainds. I have read on this post that the maximum age to get the vaccine is 26. Who is correct as I am currently 28?

5.) Is there any test possible (dna ?) that would tell me, a man, exactly what straind of hpv I am infected with?

Thank you to all of those people who answer these questions for your hard working in helping people find answers for tough questions! I truly respect your willingness to help just for the sake of helping. And I apologize in advance for being a male and posting on a women's site : )

May 9, 2011 - 10:13am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hello Luke,
You ask some good questions especially since most of them revolve around the high risk strains of HPV. The genital warts caused mainly by HPV16 and 18 are not the same type of wart that you get on your hands. Those are caused by other strains of HPV which are not genitally related. While there are over 100 different strains of HPV about forty are considered sexually related. Of those approximately 14, to date, are considered high risk for dysplasia and cancer.
There is still much controvery when it comes to certain aspects of the virus but there is no controversy what-so-ever when it comes to the allowable age (per the FDA) that an individual can receive the vaccine and that is 26. If I were you, I would go to my website, thehpvsupportnetwork.org and go to the Resource page. You will find numeros links for Merck that provide financal assistance for those who cannot afford it. However, the website also allows you to print out the vaccine information and administration sheet (which comes along with the vaccine when it is sent to the doctor). It clearly states the ages of administration whether men or women is from 9 to 26. I'd take this to your doctor's and ask for an explanation regarding their prior suggestion. Unless people start calling doctors out on their spread of erroneous information it will only continue. This may not seem like a big issue but who knows what other HPV related information is incorrect and being given to patient's by this doctor. Merck had hoped that the FDA would extend the higher age range to 45. Mrck has applied to the FDA to extend the age three times and unfortunately the FDA again refused to extend the age of the vaccine. Now I'll confuse you a bit more because technically you still can get the vaccine at any age but it will only be covered by insurance until the FDA approved age which is 26. This is referred to receiving the vaccine "off label". You would have to then pay for it yourself (3 vaccine series at about $150 each). Not all doctors will give the vaccine off label. You may want to ask your doctor if they were talking about getting the vaccine off label first. If they didn't mention these words to you or that you would have to pay for it yourself chances are they're just wrong in their answer as opposed to thinking about you getting it off label. At least you'll have the info either way.
As for your questions, chances are you may also have high risk strains of HPV as well as the low risk wart strains. It is important to use condoms to reduce transmission but this only relates to the covered area and since the virus can be harboured in so much surrounding tissue one may feel like they are fighting a losing battle. However there are more significant reasons for using condoms as it relates to the woman. HPV DNA has been found in semen. If a woman has HPV and continually has what is referred to as the "viral load" increased through continued exposure to your semen, this could cause a negative impact on her immune system resulting in a recurrence if her HPV has been dormant.
They used to say that you could not get herpes unless you were having an outbreak. This has since been shown not to be the case. Like HPV, herpes is also a virus and one that goes dormant and reappears as well. While there is nothing definitive on this, I certainly would pursue any relations from the standpoint that it can be transmitted at any time. Better to be safe than sorry when they tell us differently five years from now.
Obvioulsy there is a significant connection between stress and the immune system. High stress levels and pregnancy during which the immune system is lowered tend to be times when someone with HPV will get a recurrence or will be initially diagnosed. If you are dealing with a lot of stress then that will result in a weakened immune system but that doesn't necessarily mean it is a permanent situation. Once the stress is reduced the immune system can get back to normal again.
Just as an example, in studies done on those with HPV AND AIDS it was found that one stressful incident resulted in a two fold progression of disease while two or more stressful incidents (during the same monitored time period) showed a six-fold increase in progression. So obviously multiple stressful incidents can affect progression of HPV. I'm certain to some degree this would be true even if you didn't have AIDS.
As for your relationship, 80% of the population will have some issue with an HPV infection at some time in their lives. Chances are she may already have HPV and you certainly could discuss her own history with pap tests and HPV screening. I'd suggest you have her request an HPV screening at her next visit. Normally they are not done on women under 30 so she would need to let the doctor know she is involved with someone who has known HPV and wants to be sure herself. Even if her test comes up positive, most women under 30 end up with the virus going dormant.
I can't really say there are no tests for men because men are getting anal paps every day in this country. It is very difficult to obtain one because the American Society for Colon and Rectal Surgeons does not educate their members on the true dangers of HPV and tend to minimize it as being of little concern at all. Many of them haven't a clue what to do for a patient with HPV let alone one who develops anal cancer from it like I did.
I admire you for wanting to sit down and talk with your partner. Many people want to hide it because of their own shame without thinking about the potential cancer risk to their partner. Some doctors even tll patients they don't need to inform their partners which in my opinion is negligent pure and simple. She has a right to know and to choose whether or not she wants to be exposed to this virus.
I hope this has answered your questions. Please feel free to PM me if you have any additional questions.

May 9, 2011 - 11:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

i am 26 years old 2 years ago i was diagnosed with high risk hpv i had a culposcopy and the leep procedure done. last months i had gotten a pap smear done, the first one since i got the leep ( do to no insurance for the past 2 years) and they said i came back normal.... i dont believe them ... can it be true that i had dysplasia, lesions and high risk hpv and now i am cured ?? does this happen ?? i just cant believe the new doc that did this pap ... i would go back to my old doc that found all of this out in the first place but she is in a diff state than were i live.

May 2, 2011 - 12:01pm

Hello anonymous,
The fact is that you could have contracted HPV from your husband and that it remained dormant until your pregnancy. Pregnancy often "reactives" dormant HPV as a result of the depressed immune system normal in pregnancy. You may also have contracted the virus from someone else prior to your husband (if that was the case for you). No one can tell when someone contracted HPV and while he may hypothesize that it was a result of your cheating it is just as likely it was from him or someone else. Because the virus is so contagious only one intimate act can transfer the virus.
One thing which apparently has not been mentioed to you is that HPV has been found in breast milk. Whether you are breastfeeding I don't know and obviously there are benefits to breastfeeding however given the fact that more and more research turns up other cancerous conditions in other areas caused by HPV, it is my opinion that breastfeeding would not be an option.
Low risk HPV causing condyloma which are active at the time of delivery often warrant a C-section to prevent the virus from entering the throat and esophagus of the newborn. This can cause respiratory papillomatosis a condition resulting in recurring warts in the esophagus, throat and require removal. Since not much research that I can find has been done regarding the potential risks of breastfeeding with known positive high risk HPV I think it advisable to avoid it. However you stated you had warts which are caused by low risk strains of HPV typically 6 and 11. Have you ever had an HPV test for the high risk strains? Do you even know if you have high risk HPV? Is your OB aware of all this? When was your last pap test? These are all significant questions in order to fully answer your question. You should also obtain copies of all your test results for your own records. You can message me directly with this information if you like and we can go from there. In any case it is the responsible thing to inform your partner and I think you realize this. The question for you is how and the how is to explain as I stated above that no one can determine when or from whom you got it. He probably has contracted the virus and not shown symptoms as his immune system was able to effectually deal with the virus. That does not mean it could not show up in the future.

April 20, 2011 - 9:00pm
EmpowHER Guest

hello, i am 19 yrs old i have a 4month old baby and i have my huband we have been together for 4 yrs but i had an affair once.. and well i found out i had hpv because of the warts and they came out when i was about 4 months pregnant! and idk if i gave hpv to him or he gave it to me and well i do not know how to explain to him that i have hpv and that it is contagious and that i might have infected him ive only been with him and this other person. it had been a year since i had cheated on him and got pregnant and got does warts can any one help me give me any advice on how to explain that to him.. he does know i cheated once but how do i tell him abou the hpv?!!!! and well he ios 27yrs old help me please

April 20, 2011 - 7:55pm
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