Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

High risk HPV transmission /active

I was recently DX with high risk HPV. I have minor cell changes so dr advised we watch and wait and he said it  will likely clear on its own.
My concern is how long I have had this and not known?
Or if my husband has had it all along?
If a person is infected, does the virus become active (contagious) immediately and then your immune system will make it dormant in 6 months to 2 years?
Or you are infected and immediately your immune system suppresses it into dormancy and you are not likely to be contagious but still carry the virus?
If you have multiple strains of HPV are they all likely to be active at the same time? Or do they act on there own?
i had a normal clear pap exactly one year from my abnormal one, could I have had an active infection then but it wasn't detected ( I'm 36)?
Or it has been recently just re-activated?

1 Responses
Avatar universal
No one can tell you how long you had it. Since men cannot be tested and men are usually the carriers, it is possible he always had it. Most people don't know they have the high risk strains since there are no symptoms until pre-cancerous cells are found. Most sexually active people have multiple strains. The odds are always better that a new diagnosis is from a recent encounter than from the past but there are exceptions where women get a bad pap from an encounter years/decades ago. There just isn't any way to play detective with HPV and point to a a partner or sex act as the cause. At this point, you and your husband share this virus. Most people do clear the virus (make it dormant) but some do not and no one knows why. When people clear it, they aren't infectious but not everyone remains non-infectious forever. Some become infectious years later and the medical community does not know why but some of us think it has something to do with one's immune system. Certainly, smoking cigs, drinking alcohol, stress, lack of enough sleep, living an unhealthy life, etc all contribute to a weakened immune system. Assume for now that you should get tested every year. Your husband may want to see a urologist for preventive screening but without any symptoms, he may not ever need any medical attention.
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