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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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Anonymous - Instead of viewing yourself as some kind of pariah, keep in mind that 80% of adults will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives. Chances are the individuals you're afraid won't want to be with you aleady have HPV and don't know it.

As to the vaccine people shouldn't have to ask this question and it only shows how poorly educated women are which in my opinion reflects on their doctors. It's because you can be HPV positive from one of the strains NOT included in the vaccine and since those strains included in the vaccine are the most aggressive and likely to cause cancer it only makes sense to protect against them. Even if you had one of those strains, you can still benefit from protection from the other.

April 14, 2011 - 3:04am
(reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

question: i'm 31 years old. am i eligible for the vaccine too?and what can males do for help as far as hpv is concerned?

April 14, 2011 - 9:23pm
(reply to shimad7)

The vaccine is available for women and men ages 9 to 26 so no you are not eligible in the sense of your insurance paying for it. However it can be gotten "off label" at any age but you would have to pay for it yourself which costs about $400 for the three shot series.
Men can use condoms which can reduce the skin to skin contact and also reduce the viral load of HPV DNA being deposited into your vagina which only causes more stress to your immune system having to combate that much more HPV.

May 12, 2011 - 9:41am
EmpowHER Guest

Im 22 years old, but Im a little confused as to why I should get vaccinated when Im already positive for hpv. I also was wondering if you know much about herpes. I had been tested and my IGM antibodies showed I had a recent exposure because those are the antibodies that show up first after an initial exposure. However, my IGG antibodies tested negative for the virus. Im schedule to go back to get my IGG antibodies tested. Is it possible my IGG antibodies can still be negative?? If so, will that mean I am negative to herpes?? I'm just so confused and still shocked this happen to me. I just feel like no one will ever want to be in a relationship with me again. This is so hard for me to cope with right now.

April 3, 2011 - 7:25am

Like herpes HPV is a virus which can become dormant for months, years or even decades but you will always have it just like herpes. If you are 26 or under I suggest you get the HPV vaccine. If you cannot afford it, Merck offers programs to assist with that so you can obtain it for free if your income is less than approx. 45k a year.

April 2, 2011 - 12:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

I recently jus found out I have hpv and herpes. I'm very upset about this I was with a guy and he cheated on me and brought me these diseases. I do not have symptoms of herpes but I do have the gential warts there very small bumps my gyno didnt even notice them at first when she was checking me. I just feel like my life is over I feel so unattractive now and my self confidence has gone down so much. But I do wonder if hpv will clear on its own even though I am positive for herpes . I just cant believe this has happen to me.

April 2, 2011 - 11:13am

As for the blood test, this is not something typically performd and is typically reserved for research patients to determine if they were exposed prior to the study. The HC2 (hybrid capture 2) HPV test from digene is not a blood test but is performed on cells usually obtained from the remaining pap sample. So the chances of your BF even knowing what to ask for or that any doc would perform an HPV antibody test is highly unlikely. You say this is how you found out but I'm not quite sure how or why you believe this.
Keeping secrets is certainly not a sign of a healthy relationship regardless of HOW complicated your situation may be. Our stories are all complicates to some extent and it is situations like this that truly bring out the character in a partner. I would also say that without realizing it you are risking his life. Do you understand that? The initial post to which I responded by anonymous however the post above is not so I'm unclear if this is one and the same person, I am presuming it is not and that unlike anonymous you have been intimate with your BF. This is why I make the comment about risking his life. In my opinion, if you have exposed him to the virus you have an obligation to inform him - there is no choice here.
Some doctors have told their patients that there is no need to inform their partners. How egregious a statement! It was previously thought that the herpes virus could only be transmitted while the patient was having an "outbreak". It is now known that the virus can be transmitted at any time. While there is no definitive answer to this regarding HPV, they are both viruses, they are both sexually transmitted and I maintain the position that it should be considered transmittable at any point in time. This is a much safer position to take than to believe otherwise and find out in ten years that like herpes timing is irrelevant.
Men can develop penile cancer, anal cancer, head/neck and throat/tonsillar cancer. If you have exposed him you have no right to keep this from him. He should be checked by a colorectal specialist and perhaps urologist as well as soon as possible. I'm sure you are not risking his life intentionally but the fact is, you are and the longer you wait, the worse his outcome may be if indeed he has high risk HPV.
As I mentioned, it is not my intention to make someone hysterical. I believe they can do that all on their own usually because of a LACK of information and have your head swimming with all sorts of possibilities. I do not agree with doctors who withhold information regarding the potential of HPV for fear of hysteria. Providing education, correct and accurate information will ultimately help the patient more than keeping them in the dark. Please internet search "the unfortunate experiment" and see how one doctors decision to withhold not only info but treatment from women with cervical CIS (carcinoma in situ). Though this took place in a New Zealand hospital, it had major repricussions throughout the world's medical community.
It is truly unfortunate that while over 24 million Americans have HPV the majority of people have never even heard of it. The nurses comments made two posts ago may be due to how it was worded and/or conveyed. She is both correct and incorrect. The virus can become dormant and no symptoms present but it will always be present in your body and can become active at any time be it months, years or decades. There are other factors which can contribute to persistent infection one of those being smoking but at this time there is no way to determine just whose immune system will help to bring the virus to a dormant state and who will continue on to develop dysplasia and/or cancer. You are however three times more likely to develop dysplasia and/or cancer if you smoke than if you don't.
If your situation is such that you would like to discuss these complicating issues and get you to a place where you can discuss this with your BF I would be happy to talk with you in PM or through the contact info (email address) listed on my profile.
I will be speaking at the opening ceremonies of the International Papillomavirus Conference in Berlin Germany before 1400 researchers, clinicians and other prestigious HPV experts. I am honored to have been asked to provide a patient's perspective and opinions on the future course of HPV research and to educate many healthccare providers whose belief is to provide minimal info to an HPV positive patient.
I am happy to answer questions from anyone wants them. Please use my email address listed in my profile.

March 27, 2011 - 7:55pm
(reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

ill look up your profile bonnie but i stll feel like telling himright now would put me in a bad situation.

April 13, 2011 - 11:03pm

First off, as well as getting the information correct lets get the terminology correct as well. It is not strands it is strains and there are over 100 different STRAINS of HPV. Many of these are low risk and cause non-cancer causing warts including the genital warts you have. Other strains are high risk and can cause dysplasia (abnormality within the cells) to varying degrees and lead to cancer if untreated.
Chances are if you have low risk strains of HPV you may also have high risk strains as well which is reason for concern. Please go to my profile and go to the first link listed at the bottom. This site is HonCode approved for medically accurate info.
Not only do you need to see a doctor but you need to get the vaccine. Please check out resources page on site mentioned above for Merck's programs which can get you the vaccine for free as well as your boyfriend. He should be getting the vaccine as well and chances are, he already has HPV since 80% of the population are infected with the virus. It is highly contageous and can be even though you may have no current symptoms. Men rarely show symptoms and there is no test to determine if he has been exposed to HPV. Well actually there is but it's not commercially available. If he has insurance you may want to ask his doc to perform a blood test for HPV antibodies this will at least show if he has been exposed to HPV.
If he refuses to EVER be intimate with you I'm not quite sure I understand what you're doing with him?
At this point in your life you should have had your first pap and if not then you need to go to your doctor or a Planned Parenthood Clinic and get one. This will show any abnormal cells involving the cervix. There is also a link on the site I mentioned where you can find places to get free paps. The point is you can't continue to do internet research hoping to resolve your issues you need medical attention and perhaps treatment for any high risk lesions which you cannot see on the cervix or within the vagina. HPV can also cause vaginal, vulvar, anal and head/neck/throat cancers and the seriousness of this virus cannot be underestimated. Please check out the site I mentioned and come back with any questions.

March 26, 2011 - 11:02am
(reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

thanks for the info bonnie. u sure woke me up. but im afraid to tell my man. ive known since october. my situation is so complicated that telling him might make it worse. i guess for now i must keep it a secret. i hope to figure this out before he takesw a blood test and finds out the way i did.

March 27, 2011 - 6:56pm
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