Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
Timeline Clarification
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Timeline Clarification

Hi,
I recently had unprotected sex with two women other than my significant other. I told my girlfriend and she had the expected reaction to my mistakes.  We are no longer together and she has informed me that she "tested positive for HPV" at her latest pap smear.  I believe her when she tells me she was 100% faithful.  My ex and I were in a long distance relationship and had only had intercourse several times over a weekend in May 09 and another weekend in July 09. My indiscretions occurred in March 09 and June 09. She had a clear pap smear in April 08.  Needless to say, not only am I getting the blame for my lack of fidelity but also for the infection.  We have been dating and engaging in unprotected sex since September 07. I have had many questionable partners prior to dating her but had tested negative (of course no male HPV test) at a check up.
QUESTIONS:
Is it possible I was carrying HPV all along and it took awhile to show up it an examination or is her infection directly due to one of my two "cheating" partners?
How long does it usually take for contraction of HPV to show up in a pap smear?
Since I do not have any evidence of genital warts I assume the HPV strain may have cervical cancer implications for her: what are the odds that the virus will be of the high risk variety? If it is, what are the odds of contracting cervical cancer?
I've read that HPV cannot be cured through medication but is often "cleared" through the body. What are the odds and time table for that?
Any advice on how to apologize, I know I messed up but I'm not a heartless monster.
Thanks
Matt
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You are correct that HPV has the ability to lay dormant for years before becoming active - if it ever does. However, it is common to have an active infection within the first 2-3 months after exposure. So while it it is almost impossible to know 100% whether the strain she currently has is from a previous exposure or more recent, the odds are much more likely that this is a recent exposure causing a sudden positive HPV test. The HPV test she has would have likley indicated whether it was a high risk, low risk strain - or both. HPV is incredibly common  - 80% of people will have an active infection by the time they are 50 just most will never have any idea because they will clear the infection without any symptoms or ill effects. Most often, active infections of HPV will clear in about 6-12 months (sometimes longer) but if the infection persists for a long period without clearing that is when dysplasia or cancer can develop (with hr strains). It is important to know that while high risk strains do have the potential to cause cancer, it isn't a common effect. She will definitely need to ensure she has careful and consistent monitoring to ensure that dysplasia doesn't develop and/or if it does it is detected and managed before it has the chance to progress into cancer. (also, not all dysplasia will necessarily progress into cancer but it is impossible to know who will and who won't so it is usally removed)
What were the results from her smear test - aside from the positive HPV. Was it normal or ASCUS, LSIL, HSIL, etc?
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Thank you for taking the time to respond. I can't intelligently or accurately answer your posed question. All I know for sure is that they told her she had HPV with a 95% certainty and that more tests would be performed to determine the strain.
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Okay, well she will probably be referred for a colposcopy next. Similar to a pap but instead the cervix and vaginal canal (and usually vulva as well) are closely examined by a colopscope (basically a microscope) to look for any lesions. If there are an abnormalities seen the doctor will take samples of it and send that off to a pathologist for a diagnosis. If it is dysplasia, the results will come back as CIN1 (mild), CIN2 (moderate), CIN 3 (severe), CIS (carcinoma in situ) or AIS (adenocarcinoma in situ) which are all different levels of dysplasia. It is very unlikely that this early on and with a normal smear last year that it will come back showing cancer. Her pap smear will *usually* indicate a similar level as to what is found during the colpsocopy.
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hi, I have read on a couple of places online that for dysplasia to occur, the HPV infection would have had to have been around for quite some time to grow.  I had an ex-girlfriend contact me and tell me that she had an abnormal pap, positive for high risk HPV, and had moderate dysplasia and is going in for a LEEP soon.  We had sex 6 months prior to her finding out that she had the dysplasia.  It was a one time encounter and a condom was used.  Could moderate dysplaisa occur within approximately six months from the time of HPV infection, or would it have to take longer than that for it to develop that far?   I am also battling with this- I have had 3 partners since I was with her the one time.  I have discussed this with my current girlfriend and she is going in for a test soon.  The other 2 women were both one time encounters using a condom.  Whether or not I gave the girl who had the abnormal pap HPV will probably never be determined, but even if I was not the one who gave it to her, then she most likely had an active infection of HPV when we were together, so at the very least I have been exposed to it.  Should I contact the other 2 women I was with after the woman with the positive HPV and tell them that I may have it?  Or are the odds of transmitting high risk HPV with a condom during one encounter really high enough to present a substantial risk?  Or would these other women who I am sure are responsible and get a yearly pap be protected by receiving their yearly pap, or could dysplasia or cancer really come up quickly enough that I need to notify them to get checked out ASAP? thanks so much for any help....
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