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HPV 16 - dna test positive, no symptoms
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HPV 16 - dna test positive, no symptoms

Hi,

I'm 29 year old male. After some sexual adventures (unprotected oral sex with 3 different partners) in the period of 2 months I decided to have a check up before I start a longer term relationship. I signed up for all possible tests (starting with HIV, through all types of HPV, chlamydia, HBV, HCV etc.)
I was very surprised that I got a positive result with HPV 16 (PCM DNA test) as I never had any symptoms. I'm a bit confused because all the forums/discussions refer to the case where there are visible warts etc. For example statement that HPV may clear out after 2 years of getting rid of warts doesn't make much sense as I didn't have any in the first place. I have few questions that would help me understand my situation.

1. I assume the infection might be quite recent and visible symptoms have shown up YET, what should I be looking for and where?
2. I have read that HPV 16 may lead to several types of cancer. The sample where it was detected came from the tip of my penis, should I still be worried about oral warts/cancer? Are there any HPV tests that use samples from the throat? Any point doing these?
3. From what I have read I learned that most contageous is contact with the person with warts/changed skin surface. What is the risk of infecting another person if I don't have such symptoms? I have read that condom doesn't give 100% protection because it doesn't cover whole skin... what if the skin is ok?
4. How probable it is that I have had HPV 16 for longer time now (never any symptoms) and recent encounters have nothing to do with it... ? How probable that I'm long past the normal 24 month period and my body cannot get rid of the virus on it's own (previously I was in a relationship for 5 years)?
5. What measures should I take to make sure my recovery is faster? I didn't visit any doctor, just went to a lab for the tests but they seem to be obvious...
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22 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
btw. English is my second language as you probably noticed so just to state it clearly by "warts" I mean any kind of visible changes to the skin
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Avatar_n_tn
Im sorry but how did you get tested for HPV? There's no commercially blood/dna test available for HPV, or is it available in your country? Can you tell me the specific test taken for your HPV sample? Name me the test description please...you can read it on your test result paper..
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Avatar_n_tn
Also you don't have to worry too much about cancer risks from HPV. Most people have HPV (including type 16) and the chance is actually very low for someone to get cancer from their HPV alone. Just like what you probably have found on the net, most people clear up their HPV infection within 24 months time. Those who can't clear up their HPV in 8-12 years might have cancer risks but this is rare. Just try to live as healthy as you can and you will be fine.
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Avatar_m_tn
well, I guess that post-communist countries in Central Europe aren't that far behind after all... (and our health service is free... or at least is supposed to be..., I went to a private testing lab to avoid showing my genitals to the GP)

now we can get really lost in translation, it says (but this is quite literal):
PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
There is no name of the test manufacturer or anything like this on the result sheet, I could probably ask over the phone. But I don't belive there are not available, it took me few seconds to get english website about HPV DNA tests:
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/human-papillomavirus-hpv-test

Then it says "positive results mean that traces of following HPV viruses were found in the provided sample, HPV: 16"

The test checks for 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, there was a separate test for hpv 6 and 11 and similar ones for other STDs

I know that most people clear hpv infection in 24 months. I'm just curious how to determine if I have the infection and when it's gone (I could start counting off time). Is this tiny prickle on my penis HPV (it seemed to be there for many years, but hell... who knows), I have always had similar all around the body.. is this HPV as well?
And the most important thing, how contagious it is. Can I give it to someone who I kissed at the party? What is the chance of passing it on to a girl during oral sex.... and so on. Should I call all the exes and ask them to get checked as well?
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Avatar_m_tn
If you go to page 3 of the link you provided in your post, you will see that LightningF is correct - there is no HPV test available in the United States for men - which is ridiculous if it is available in other countries! I saw a study which was done in Scandanavia where they not only tested men and women, but also babies! They were studying the percentage of babies with HPV born to mothers with HPV and/or Fathers with HPV! And by the way, HPV 16 is one of the most common strains which causes cervical cancer in women, but it can also cause several othe types of cancer. These others have been considered rare but I just found some interesting recent info here -  http://www.rdoc.org.uk/hpv.html  You are lucky that your lab routinely tells you which strain you have. I had to fight just to get them to DNA test me to begin with (I'm a female). They "saw" what "looked like" HPV cells on a slide and assumed it was HPV because I am in the beginning stages of cervical cancer. I finally, after almost a month, JUST got the results back and it says I have "one or more" of the 13 High-risk types of HPV! I still don't know WHICH strain or strains! The doctor looked at me as if I was stupid when I asked to also be tested for the low-risk type - most doctors in the US don't think you should care if you have the kind that causes warts, they only care if you have the kind that causes cancer and they think you should not ask questions and should just trust their superior knowledge because they are God.
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks aj142536. This is strange, I paid (that was fully paid test) around 40 USD for such test, I wonder why don't labs want to make money? Maybe there are some regulations which restrict these tests, I don't really know how it works in the US

but I still have my doubts and questions and no one seems to know the answer to any of the 5 questions I asked...
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1306047_tn?1333247191
1. I assume the infection might be quite recent and visible symptoms have shown up YET, what should I be looking for and where?

The infection is most likely quite recent (i.e. within the last two years and more likely within the last year) As a male, you will not have any visual symptoms with HPV 16. Don't bother looking for anything HPV 16 related to manifest visually.


2. I have read that HPV 16 may lead to several types of cancer. The sample where it was detected came from the tip of my penis, should I still be worried about oral warts/cancer? Are there any HPV tests that use samples from the throat? Any point doing these?


HPV 16 can lead to cervical cancer in women, and I don't know this for sure, but in super rare instances HPV can lead to penile cancer in men.  I'd suspect that studies may show that HPV 16 might be one of those.  Should you be worried about warts/cancer?  No, definitely do not worry about penile cancer.  You'll be struck by lightning while getting hit by a car before you get it.  Do not worry about warts either mainly because they are a nuisance only and not a risk to your health medically speaking.  They do suck though but it's best not to worry about them.  If you penis test checks for all HPVs, then there is no need to worry about warts at all anyway.  In your country there may be a throat HPV test to take but what is the point.  If you discover HPV in your throat what can you possibly do about it other than ruin the quality of your life over something that most likely will never manifest into a problem.  Oral cancer from HPV is on the rise, but it statistically unlikely to every happen to you, your neighbor or anyone else that you know.  


3. From what I have read I learned that most contageous is contact with the person with warts/changed skin surface. What is the risk of infecting another person if I don't have such symptoms? I have read that condom doesn't give 100% protection because it doesn't cover whole skin... what if the skin is ok?

The skin may appear okay to the naked eye but what you don't see are micro abrasions and the skin's surface appears a whole lot rougher at the level of the virus so if you shrunk yourself down to that size you'd be able to find a way in somewhere.  Are you guaranteed to get it if the other person does without any skin lesions or abnormalities?  No, but the chance is there.  Simply the grinding action and friction affects on your skin down there is certainly enough to micro abrade your skin enough for viral transfer.  I do not know what the risk is of infecting a partner if you don't have symptoms.


4. How probable it is that I have had HPV 16 for longer time now (never any symptoms) and recent encounters have nothing to do with it... ? How probable that I'm long past the normal 24 month period and my body cannot get rid of the virus on it's own (previously I was in a relationship for 5 years)?

It's hard to say.  Were these three oral encounters your first sexual experiences after your five year relationship?  If not, when did it end and what have you done with the tip of your penis in that time?  I'll admit, if all you did was receive oral, then I'm a bit perplexed as to how you got it on the tip.  Supposedly, according to the doctors on this site, oral HPV is much rarer than genital and they believe the transfer is harder to occur as well.  If you got HPV on your penis because of oral, then I'm not really sure what to say as I hear it's not common.  But hey, it all happens and if you think about the millions of oral encounters going down (no pun intended) every day, then it's likely that somewhere, some time in the year, someone is going to have it happen that way.  I can't find the study now, but last year on this site someone posted a study of 100+ people with HPV and no one showed any detectable trace of HPV after the two year mark with PCR assays.  As you know, PCR is accurate to a very high degree.  I'd say that you got it within the last two years but who knows.


5. What measures should I take to make sure my recovery is faster? I didn't visit any doctor, just went to a lab for the tests but they seem to be obvious...

All you can do is make sure your immune system is in tip top shape.  Sleep well, eat right, and exercise.  Your body will take care of the rest.  There is no need to worry about this.  It will not affect you negatively at all. You do need to proceed with caution with the ladies though until it clears.  Having to deal with this as a woman is a pain in the butt at the least, potentially deadly at worst, and tough for the mind and emotions always.   By wearing a condom you reduce her risk significantly, especially if no HPV was detected around the base of your shaft.  Don't rub your tip on her vagina either as this is stupidly high risk of transfer behavior.  I would go back to the lab six months after your last results came in and have the test redone.  Keep doing that until there are no more positive results.  Then you are free to not worry at all and ditch that condom if you'd like to.  

Hope this helps somewhat.
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks, that's very enlightening

I understand, so I should worry the most about the ladies. I understand  that unprotected oral sex is as dangerous as unprotected vaginal...

I guess making sure that no touching of myself and her goes on...
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1306047_tn?1333247191
From what I understand from Dr. Hook and Dr. Handsfield, oral sex is less dangerous than vaginal sex.  Feel free to poke around the "Ask A Doctor" section and keyword HPV and oral and stuff like that to get a feel for what they have to say about that.  I do not know anything about how likely it is to transfer HPV from a single encounter although it seems to be on the liklier than not side of the coin.  I got low-risk HPV while on a break from my ex and when we got back to together I didn't know I had it at first.  We had loads of unprotected sex up to and after a break out and she never got it.  Neither have her two subsequent partners either.  

I don't have it anymore, but what I liked to do is keep my underwear on for a lot of the initial foreplay.  Avoid direct genital contact, but you can still hold it and touch yourself very near her as long as the skin isn't touching.  There are all sorts of ways to play around without direct contact.  Once you're ready for sex, simply don a condom and go at it, but with the added realization that the base could still be a danger zone for transfer.  All in all, if you partner isn't the type to freak out and worry, she'll see HPV for what it is, a nuisance.  In today's day and age, if one follows all the guidelines of check ups there is very little chance of any developments having any serious repercussions.  That's not to say that it doesn't suck and isn't scary and disconcerting at the beginning of course, it is very much so.  Therefore, it's best to try to avoid any transmission.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks!

Well my trouble is that I ended one long term relationship and I am single now. After initial "craziness" I wanted to maybe look for someone for more serious relationship. Now I wonder... on which date should I tell her about it... sometimes things go really fast... should I have "stop" sign with a label "enter on your own risk" written down on my underwear  :-/
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1306047_tn?1333247191
When you talk about it may be different with different people.  Remember that each person has their own level of knowledge about HPV and worry about it so don't assume that the way you think about it is also theirs.  Also remember that the way you frame it is a big deal in the response you'll get.  Acting like you're dirty goods as opposed to being nonchalant about it will skew the outcome.  Remember, HPV isn't that big of a deal and it goes away.  So present it when you feel it's appropriate... as long as it's before your junk rubs up and down her.   One way to say it is "Just wondering how much you know about HPV?"  That allows you to gauge their level of knowledge first so you can tailor your info session better.  Depending on now sexually active she has been in the past might affect her knowledge base.  Best of luck to you.  I'm sure you'll be fine.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had one of these conversations already. The knowledge was virtually zero and I had to explain everything... This is why I feel obliged to study these positive (http://www.hpvsupport.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5261) and also some of the negative ones (eg. kissing transmits HPV)... It is very hard to determine the objective truth... thanks for the support

I wish some more people shared their experiences.
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Avatar_m_tn
another news... my ex got her results (she did tests as soon as I got mine), she's been diagnosed with HPV as well.... but they were types 56 and 66. She claims she didn't have any other partners than myself...

... the only thought I have now is... wtf? :-/

Is it possible that I had all of them, infected her and cleared my 56 and 66 already... but she never got 16... ? This becomes weirder and weirder. I'm going to repeat the tests in other lab I guess.
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1306047_tn?1333247191
Yeah, wish I knew the story with you and your ex.  HPV is kinda weird sometimes.  It'd be nice to wave a magic wand over its wikipedia page and have it all be fully known and explained.  :)  

The best thing to do is be honest and downplay the "problem" of HPV.  A lot of people have it.  Most don't know it.  Nearly everyone will get it in their lifetime.  There are generally no lasting repercussions from it.  If there are, they are on the rarer side and can always be treated effectively so therefore there are no long term nor lasting consequences involved for all but a select statistical fraction of a fraction.  The more one wrings their hands or makes apologies for it or uses word choice that plays into the stigma of HPV, the easier it will be to have an undesirable reaction to the topic.  If a girl likes you enough for you, she will consider your words.  

The other good news in all of this is the temporary span time HPV is an issue for us.  I had mine (warts) for exactly a year.  After my waiting period of six months just to be safe, I now no longer feel the need to talk about it with any future partners.  I've not been wart free for a whole year!  You will be HPV free to my friend, and at that point you won't even need to have any talk as there is nothing to talk about.  Happy New Year on your journey.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I just tested positive for HPV-16 through an oral swab. I did the test due unexplained raised tastebuds in tongue.

See here for details:

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/601552/Tested-positive-for-HPV-16
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Avatar_m_tn
Strangely, it does not look like warts but more like blisters, and type 16 does not give visible warts
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Avatar_m_tn
sure?

http://oralmaxillo-facialsurgery.blogspot.com/2010/05/viral-infections-of-mouth-cont-2.html
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Avatar_m_tn
HPV 16 is the type that normally do not produce visible warts, there are exceptions for sure, but as I said, very rare, most common in people with compromised immune systems such as HIV, transplant and sometimes smokers and those who drink a lot of booze

see in the pictures, in case you get warts they do not look as smooth as blisters but more sprawling
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you.

Anyway, the dermatologist has gaven me Isoprinosine, and I will take it for a month to see if it clears up. It was me who asked about HPV and she when I asked her she said it's a good idea and that it might be the reason. We will see.

Just for information, I have tested Negative for HIV five times since my last exposure (February 2012). Last test taken in mid October.

ps. have you seen blisters like that before? I have surfed all the Web and the only closest thing I came across was this picture

http://img.medscape.com/pi/emed/ckb/dermatology/1048885-1075226-1079920-1616814.jpg

which was caused by HPV.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi avalyn3

I have a problem with my tongue like your problem exactly.
I will use treatment prescribed for you>ist cream or tablets
Thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
and what the dose for the medicin
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Avatar_m_tn
Can you post pictures of your tongue? I have not come with anyone with similar raised taste buds/pimples like mine.

I have updated my journal with the prescription given by my doctor:

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/601552/Tested-positive-for-HPV-16
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