Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

Anyone clear HPV in throat?

I'm a male, mid 30s.  I believe I have HPV in throat based on symptoms but have dr appt next week to hopefully confirm or not confirm.  I gave oral sex to a woman 1 time who I later found out has HPV.  I do not know what type (high risk or low risk).

I've had a persistent sore throat that won't go away (1 month).  I'm not feeling good or optimistic as I have this constant discomfort in my throat.  Really feeling down.  They say chronic infection is higher risk for cancer.  I'm really worried.

Has anyone had HPV in throat with symptoms and then the symptoms eventually cleared on their own?
12 Responses
Avatar universal
Unlikely you got it from a one time encounter. Did she have the low risk strain that isn't cancerous or the high risk strain?  I've had a sore throat issue go away somehow. I went to an ENT doctor and he looked down my throat with a camera tube and didn't see anything. Its possible what he did cleared what was there.

If your family doctor recommends a specialist, try an ENT doctor. If there is a visible wart in your throat, you may be recommended to an Oral Surgeon. A lot of these persistent sore throat issues are not related to HPV.
Avatar universal
I wanted to share some info in case anyone (now or future) have a similar concern.  I did some research (because I was going a little bit crazy) and I found a study that shows for men exposed to HPV type 16 (which causes a lot of the oral cancers), about 50% of men cleared it from their system within a year (median clearance time is 6.3 months).  Doctors can argue if you truly get rid of it, but even if you are in that thought camp, it does appear the immune system can fight it off at least temporarily and perhaps permanently.  I guess the main takeaway is to build healthy habits for your immune system to give yourself the best chance of fighting it.  Also, probably good to quit smoking if you smoke.


Thanks for the reply 'veryworried420'.  I don't know if my girlfriend has low or high risk strain.  It's not something she has opened up about even after we've had conversations on more serious conversation.  (We're still in an early relationship stage and perhaps she just doesn't want to open up about it.  At our age, I think we both had been exposed to some form of HPV for sure)

I went to the ENT.  One tough thing about HPV is that there is no standard test they give for it in the throat (at least in USA).  I think in research they have several tests that can identify it, but I guess for the general public purchasing healthcare, it's not a standard test they do (maybe insurance companies determine that they won't pay for it?).  The Doctor said they biopsy it if it turns into something (growth, tumor, etc) to see if HPV related.

For now, I'm worrying less (the article above helped give me a lot of hope) and just trying to be as healthy as I can be with diet and rest.  When my fatigue clears up, I'll also try to start exercising more.
How is your condition now? it's been three years. I hope you clear all the infections. Would appreciate if you can give an update.
Avatar universal
I have inflammation and swelling at the base of the tongue and tonsils.  basically, right where high risk hpv hits the throat area. it's been going on for a couple weeks.  I'm trying to be positive.  I truly believe i have it, tho there is no definitive test.

i can't sleep which is affecting my immune system.  (though i am doing a good job of eating healthy and everything else, just can't sleep).  i'm scared.  for my health, that i will be alone.  just can't deal with it.  feeling borderline suicidal.
16809072 tn?1451663537
RduNC please don't let this affect you to the point of feeling suicidal. Even if you were to have HPV of the throat ,medical advances are being made every day and there will be a cure someday. I would highly suggest that you seek treatment immediately even if it is just through the emergency room or a walk-in clinic to give yourself some peace of mind.
Avatar universal
And oral HPV is actually the most treatable vs genital HPV. You always start with your Primary care doctor or your dentist. And then proceed to an ENT doctor or an oral surgeon if a wart is identified. Get yourself to a doctor asap. Don't self-diagnose.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies.  The frusterating thing is that there is no test to know if it is hpv in the throat but if you look at the symptoms for ppl who get throat cancer i have them all. (Persistent sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, feeling lump in throat etc). This all started 1 week after oral sex with a girl. (Havent been physical since due to my sickness and physical distance).. Still talk to her everyday but from our discussions seems she knew she had this.

The throat is so sensitive so i feel everything all dayso hard to ignore it. trying to stay strong but feeling depressed. I think i can give it to a girl from open mouth kiss or oral sex. :(

Also i love to sing and i cant while this has been going on (last 3 weeks and counting ) makes it even more scary because the persistent  sore throat may never go away.

When i was at the doctor (ent) he said there bo treatment for it other than removing any tumors or growths. When he stuck a tube down my throat it already looked like cells at the base of my tongue where really changed and lumpy. (That's probably what im feeling in my throat).

Anyone else ever have this feeling in the throat? ? Most info i searxh for hpv is women in the cervix. Really want to talk to someone who has had similar symptoms in the throat. Dying to know if this went away for them eventually. I fear because it is happening so quickly for me that my body cant fight it off and that would make me suseptible to cancer ( from talking to doctor and reading webmd and other medical info sites).

Thanks for your replies. It helps!
Avatar universal
Sorry for typos im on my phone.

Also to clarify, no doctor can give a test to determine hpv in throat for man or women unless biopsy of tumor growth.

I have ready clinical research for oral hpv where they have a gargle test that can test if hpv exists and what specific strain. However this isnt fda approved for general public. I would love to even pay out of pocket for this test just to know what i have or to rule out anything else because this is really eating at me ( again hard to ignore how i feel because it is so sensitive in the throat. I feel it always)
Avatar universal
I just want to give an update.  I did have an oralDNA HPV gargle test done and it came back negative for HPV.

However, I'm still dealing with throat issues (it's been about 8 weeks), though the symptoms have gotten better this past week (however, far from a full recovery).  Swollen tonsils (less than before though), no fever, runny nose or other normal sore throat symptoms.  Sometimes I have a very specific pinching sensation on the tonsil and at times it moves.  Don't know what that could be (viral, yeast).  It seems that something is living in or attacking my tonsils from time to time.

The doc gave me Duke's Magic Mouthwash which is made a the pharmacy.  Part antibiotic, part anti-fungal, some steriod mixture.  It's really helped clean my mouth and that is when the symptoms seemed to have gotten better.  I hope this recovers.  I really do not want to have my tonsils removed. :(
Avatar universal
Did your problem resolve itself. I am having similar symptoms. Just curious.
Avatar universal
Did your problem resolve itself. I am having similar symptoms. Just curious.
Avatar universal
My problem has not resolved.  My tonsils are NOT as swollen as in the past, but they are still significantly swollen.  It's been 2.5 months or so now since my initial symptoms.  Also, I've been very fatigued lately.  It's hard to work or concentrate.  I used to have so much energy ... play sports, dance, hang out with friends.  Now I just want to sleep and when I do go out, I'm concerned when my energy level will deplete.

Trying to do everything I can to eat right (no junk, no soda, lots of veges, lean meats, fruits, etc).  Went to my general doctor this past Friday for more tests.  I should have gone to him first as the ENT specialist was not a good doctor.

I learned that throat and tonsil problems can be many things as tonsils are kind of your first line defense against infections in the throat.  Doctors should test to see if your throat is caused by bacteria (in which antibiotics should resolve), fungal, viral (which antibiotics won't help at all... in fact may take longer to resolve as good bacteria helps immune system) or rare but possible lymphoma or some kind.

I think bacteria/fungal/lymphoma can be tested for and treated.  If it's not any of those things, then it's likely viral in which case you need to rest, eat healthy, etc to beat it over time.  They can identify some viruses (like Epstein Barr which is mono) and a few others but there are thousands/millions of viruses that are identifiable (can't test for), but knowing it's a specific virus doesn't really change treatment (which is to boost immune system to fight it).

Good luck to you, I check these threads every now and then and can post more if things change.  

Let us know how you are doing.
Avatar universal
How are you feeling ? Hope it resolved!
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