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HPV 6 and 11
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HPV 6 and 11

I have (or had) HPV 6 and 11. That's what the doctor told me after he removed warts from me and had them tested. Could I also have other strains? 6 and 11 causes warts (obviously). Can it also cause cancer? Or is it just much less like to cause cancer than other types of HPV? Where can I read the opinions of experts who believe it is necessary to advise future partners that you have (or at least once had) HPV? What do you think of the new vaccine? Thank you very much.
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Are you sure your doctor actually tested your warts for virus type?  I am skeptical; there is no commercially available test for that purpose.  It seems more likely he just said it was HPV 6 and/or 11 simply because those two closely related types cause over 90% of genital warts.  Types 6 and 11 often cause pap smear abnormalities in women, but of the milder sort that virtually never progresses to advanced stages or cancer.

Search this forum (for "HPV" or "human papillomavirus") for several discussions of when and what to advise partners.  As a general rule, my advice is that once an HPV infection--whether warts or abnormal pap in women--has been treated, or has resolved spontaneously, and several months have gone by without recurrence, there no longer is an ethical obligation to inform any and all future partners.  But others disagree and would advise longer periods.  Some would say the obligation is indefinite, because there always is some small chance of recurrence--but people who advise that are in the small minority.  The large majority of infections clear up over 6-18 months,, never to recur and never again transmissible to a partner.

The coming HPV vaccines are one of the great medical advancs of our time.  They will change the face of HPV infection and over the next few decades will save millions of women from cervical cancer.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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Is there any value, even if minute, of taking the vaccine if one has or has had an HPV infection already?
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Sure.  Although as a matter of policy, public health authorities will push for immunizing young people before they become sexually active.  But most sexually active young persons probably have not been infected with all 4 HPV types covered by the vaccine (HPV-6/11/16/18).  Those persons will benefit.  But the vaccine probably will cost $300-400 for the 3-dose series, and probably public resources won't pay--and it remains uncertain what most insurers will and will not cover.  Future vaccines will have increased valency, perhaps covering up to 8-10 or more HPV types.  But it's a fair bet costs will rise still further.

HHH, MD
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A related discussion, HPV Transmission was started.
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A related discussion, how serious is it? was started.
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A related discussion, if you both have it, is there more of a risk? was started.
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I'm 19 and my doc told me I have had HPV since I first had sex which was at 14...but I know who gave it to me. Over those years up til now I've had abnormal paps (about 3) but only because I had maybe a yeast infection or I had a BV infection. None of those came up hpv infection. And it confuses me because idk if it's gone or it's still there. Just recently I had a biopsy done and my GYN told me that it's there but it's not as bad as me & her thought. As of now, I'm freaking out about it bexuase idk if I still have it and how Im going to tell my lover about it. But my warts are cleared due to my healthy immune system... But is it possible for the virus to still go away on it's own after 3 years..I was diagnosed in 2007. I need serious help...
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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