Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Hpv questions?

Is it possible to have a normal pap smear, but have hpv? I recently got a pap and the doctor said it was normal, so she didn't test me for hpv.

Can hpv go away? I had an abnormal test 5 years ago and various strains of high risk hpv, but have never been viewed on my lap smears again.
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Avatar universal
HPV never leaves the body. It goes dormant but tiny traces cling to DNA forever. They are so tiny that the tests that women cannot detect it. This is probably what happened to you. You are not infectious at this time. Even if you never have sex again for the rest of your life, you may or may not become infectious again. No one knows. Keep testing every 2 years at least.
I agree - and disagree.

If she was ever HR-HPV positive, she should still have some HPV tests - not just PAP's.

There is no way to know if she is currently infectious from a PAP smear. Actually, she could be infectious even with a negative HPV test - but the probability of that is lower if the infected cells are rare enough not to trigger the HPV threshold - so she should have the HPV to find out her HPV status.

I hope that HPV screening someday isn't just about predicting whether or not someone will get cervical cancer - but include the risk of passing on the virus to someone else who could get cancer.
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