So here's the thing: I got diagnosed in August 2012 with HPV type 18.
Question 1: How could I get genital warts (that's how I found out about the infection), since type 18 seems to be one that does not have such symptoms?
After treating the warts and receiving my first normal Pap test, I got another wart outbreak in December. They started to grow very slowly in the anal region and then,,,all of a sudden stopped (they were mere dots) and a month later were completely gone, with no other reappearing. I assume that this is a good thing, but that brings me to...
Question 2: what does the disappearance of the warts say about the stage of the infection (spreading, receding, stagnating), of the fighting process of my body? Should I be optimistic that I might just clear the infection, now that my body's immune system is responding? And if there is the possibility of clearing it, approximately how long would it take?
1: How could I get genital warts (that's how I found out about the infection), since type 18 seems to be one that does not have such symptoms?
A: IMO, your test did not find all of the strains. You must have multiple strains (6 or 11) to get warts too. Else, if you had sex after the diagnosis then you got infected with one of the low risk strains.
2. what does the disappearance of the warts say about the stage of the infection (spreading, receding, stagnating), of the fighting process of my body?
A: Yes, your body is successfully fighting the virus. Boost your immune system via exercise, healthy eating, no cigs, less booze, vitamins, reduced stress and more rest.This will prevent re-occurrences, for most. If you are still having sex, use condoms as it is proven to reduce the chances of warts coming back. Else, go 6-24 months post recovery before you have sex again.
Thank you very much for the answers!
I have a few more questions, if that's ok.
I have to add that I haven't had sex after I got infected, and nor do I intend to have until I get a clean bill of health. Also, now that I have a boyfriend, I presume that there is almost no chance of him getting infected, provided that I keep my pants on during foreplay (one that is obviously leading nowhere) and that I don't touch myself there then touch him. Right? And if I ever get carried away and have sex with him, even with a condom, I will get him infected. Right?
From your answer I gather that strain 6 HPV seems to respond well to my body's defenses. How about type 18, because that's really my concern.
Can my immune system, provided I take care of it properly, clear the virus?
How long would that take? Because I am just mortified of the possibility of cancer.
Yes, if you keep your pants on and don't touch yourself and then him, he won't get your infections. If you have active warts, refrain from sex. Condoms offer 50-75% protection only. You may or may not get him infected. This is a skin disease and condoms don't cover all of your genital skin. Why take the chance? Ask him to wait or not to complain if he gets a wart. If he's been sexually active with at least 4 partners in his life, he probably already has it. This STD is the common cold of STDs.
90% of all infected clear the virus with 6-24 months of no symptoms or 2 good paps over a year or two. No one knows who is or isn't in this 90%. The term "clear" is not clear to anyone. Some think it leaves forever and we can never be infectious again. Some think it goes dormant and something can trigger you to be infectious years from now. All strains have similar response to immune system boosts. Cancer does not always occur with strain 18. Just keep getting tested annually,
Oh, oh! I got a good question this time!
I have been reading that, in most cases (something around 90%), a HPV infection -with a high or low-risk type- is cleared by the immune system, somewhere between 4 to 24 months. And cervical cancer needs a few years (5 or something around that number) to occur. By logical deduction, women who were included in that 90% percent, were never at risk of developing cancer and that the risk only, really begins after you've had a persistent infection for more than 2 years (fine, let's say 2 and a half).
Am I right?
P.S. I got the information from here, from the chapter "Natural History"
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