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by juliana445, Dec 16, 2007
I had a pap smear come back CIN 1 with HPV changes/LSIL.   They did a colposcopy and the results came back benign and they did an intermediate/high risk HPV test and the results came back negative.  I have never had any direct genital to genital contact, there has always been a barrier. Ie. underwear or boxers.  I have only had one boyfriend and I am his first girlfriend.  Is it possible that something else causes this pap smear and it is not HPV, my doctor said that it is the only thing that causes LSIL pap smears, but that just doesnt seem to make sense to me.  Any advice would be great.
Thanks,
Jul
Answer:
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I'll try to help, but you might not find the answers fully satisfying.  The bottom line is that there is a lot that isn't known about HPV.  You should look at the following thread from just a few days ago: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/376638  As you will see, it is essentially the same question you have, asked 30 years later.  It is from a 50+ married, lifelong monogamous woman who might have acquired her HPV in circumstances similar to yours.

First, there is no doubt you have HPV.  Nothing else causes the pap smear changes you describe.

Second, while genital intercourse, or at least genital apposition (without penetration) generally is required to catch HPV, hand-genital contact may transmit some cases.  I cannot say whether it is ever possible to transmit the virus through the amount of moisture than might penetrate intact clothing.  More likely, there were gaps in the clothing somewhere along the line; I suspect you were infected because there was a certain amount of actual skin-to-skin genital contact.

But the bottom line is that you will never know for sure.  And it really doesn't matter.  Somewhere along the line, you were bound to get one or more genital HPV infections.  If not now, sometime in the future.  It happens to virtually all sexually active people, except in those involved in permanent, lifelong relationships with partner who also never had sex with anyone else.  And even there, a few infections might be acquired by unknown, nonsexual routes.

At this point, the most important two things are 1) to follow your provider's recommendations for follow-up and treatment of your abnormal pap smear; and 2) get immunized with Gardasil, the vaccine that prevents infection with the 2 HPV types that cause genital warts and the 2 most common types that increase the risk of cervical cancer.  Undoubtedly you still are susceptible to at least 3 and maybe all 4 of those HPV strains.  All young women should be immunized.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes-- HHH, MD
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Member Comments (8)
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by juliana445, Dec 17, 2007
Thanks for the information.  
I was reading on the American Colpscopy Foundation and Cervical Pathology website that HPV causes 75-94% of LSIL paps, so what is the other 6 % caused by?   I am just really confused, because my boyfriend swears he has never touched another person, and I don't know what to believe.  I do know my mom and my sister both also have low risk HPV types as well as the same abnormal paps.  I just don't want to make a mistake in trusting him, but at the same time I have no reason not to trust him... Very confused.  Thanks
239123_tn?1267651214
Well, I'm an STD expert, not a pap smear expert.  The available HPV tests miss some infections.  Therefore, some LSIL cases have negative HPV tests, but that doesn't necessarily mean HPV wasn't the cause.  But I can't say anything more about the website information you quote. It may be true that some LSIL cases are not caused by HPV.

My very strong advice is that you let this go.  If your partner seems to be telling the truth, most likely you can believe him.  As I said above, some HPV infections are unexplained.  If you had chlamydia or gonorrhea (and you should be tested for them, by the way), you would know for sure he has had other partners.  But HPV doesn't come with nearly that level of certainty.

When all is said and done, this is going to be a minor inconvenience in your life, not something to lose sleep over.
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by mayflowers, Dec 19, 2007
HPV has been found under fingernails. Sorry Dr. Handsfield, don't mean to barge in on your post here but I thought I would add this bit of information.
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by monkeyflower, Dec 19, 2007
Depending on the strain, that makes perfect sense. I think we hear HPV and immediately think "STD". However, HPV is the virus that causes all warts--including the warts on your hands or anywhere else on your body. There are certain strains of HPV that just affect the genitals and can be sexually transmitted.
239123_tn?1267651214
HPV is ubiquitous.  Wherever you look, you will find it.  Where it is found doesn't necessarily tell how it is transmitted.
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by stina45, Dec 21, 2007
Is it possible that her mother transferred hpv to her at birth? When did the mother and sister first get abnormal paps?
239123_tn?1267651214
Maybe theoretically possible, but this has never been documented to occur.  It seems a very remote possibility.
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by natiguy, Mar 04, 2009
A related discussion, warts under my nails ! anoying was started.