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Old 10-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
 
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Question hpv questions

hopefully some of you knowledgeable about hpv will weigh in. i watched an hour long episode of dr oz that was about hpv. it was good but i was left with some questions.

they said 80% of people will have it before age 50. i get that. they said it could lay dormant in your system for years (which means the person who you are with now might not have effected you) but if you are tested for it and don't have it does that mean you might really have it but it doesn't show up? is the test not accurate or are they saying it might not show up unless there are abnormal cells in a pap?

there's no test for men. it can be passed by skin contact and even condoms don't help. the dr. specifically said the virus could be on the scrotum for example and could infect the woman through skin to skin contact. so if the guys can't be tested and condoms don't even help what can you do? i know that the more partners you have increase your risk but that's with anything. short of that, what can you do?

in most people hpv will clear up on it's own and there's a lot of evidence that some natural remedies might help the body clear it up but does hpv come and go even if you aren't repeatedly exposed to a source?

in my mind it helps me to think of hpv like the flu, a virus that many will get exposed to but most will be fine and not develop complications and die but keeping your system good will help reduce your chances of getting it or reduce the severity if you get it and it will go away. i don't know. it's confusing. on the show they were talking about lots of women that had it and developed cervical cancer some lost their fertility one ladies sister died but it wasn't clear if these women were getting normal paps or if they just went when things got bad and they missed the possibility of early detection through paps and high risk hpv testing.

any insight on these questions?
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
 
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Yes it is confusing.

Correct, you can have it in your system, but it's not an active virus, so when it shows up it can't really be narrowed down to a partner since it can show up years later.

No, they can't test men. Yes it CAN cause warts or cervical cancer, but those are only certain types.

For the record, regular skin warts, hands, feet, etc, are an hpv virus.

I believe if you come up positive for hpv and then it clears up, I think It's gone. I don't think it comes and goes, though I'm not sure.

What do you do? Not have sex? Assume it's a risk? From what I understand most people either have it or will possibly get it at some point. And men transfer it without even knowing. So unless that gardisil vaccine does any good, I don't know how to prevent it.

But I think we may be headed that way with a lot of STDs.


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Old 10-15-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
 
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I'm too lazy to look up the numbers right now, but HPV is more like a category of virus. There are hundreds of them, most of which are completely harmless. Common warts are HPV. If you've so much as brushed against someone's hand who had a wart, you've been exposed to HPV. Just like all common viruses, some people have naturally better resistances.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
 
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I'm too lazy to look up the numbers right now, but HPV is more like a category of virus. There are hundreds of them, most of which are completely harmless. Common warts are HPV. If you've so much as brushed against someone's hand who had a wart, you've been exposed to HPV. Just like all common viruses, some people have naturally better resistances.

Right. So some strains can go away on their own (your body fights it off like any virus), some can cause warts, some can cause cervical cancer, etc.




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Old 10-15-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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I think eventually the stigma will go away.

Before a drug company in the 70's decided to advertise herpes medication a certain way nobody feared it the way they do now.

Nobody dumps someone over a cold sore (well, you know)

What can you do if you're super worried?
Practice abstinence
Get vaccinated
Call an std hotline and speak to a nurse, they're good at convincing you it's nbd
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
 
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thanks for the replies so far. i'm guessing the show was focusing on the high risk type. there was hardly any mention of warts. they were talking about cervical cancer. i wonder if the 80% rate is more about one type or another. the wart type isn't the kind that leads to cervical cancer. just trying to understand it all. i guess i walked away thinking you could contract the high risk kind through any skin to skin contact without any visible symptoms. that's what i was confused about.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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I think the 80% was most likely ANY strain.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #8
 
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Well, you don't have any symptoms.
I was told I had hpv after a yearly gyno appointment. My pap came back positive for hpv and with low level abnormal pre cancerous cells (or some kind of wording like that).

I had to go back and have a colposcopy done, which is a biopsy where they basically hole punch a couple of pieces of your cervix out to test it further. No, not so fun. So that came back with the same results, but low level enough for them to just have me come back in again the next year and hope it all cleared up.

The next year at my pap there was no hpv and everything came back normal. Yay.

Originally I was all raised eyebrows like, what??!! But she said it can show up years later and there's really no way to pinpoint it. She said shes had 60 year old ladies who say, but I haven't had sex in years!

I agree with nej. The stigma has to go eventually. Especially since, like your cold sore analogy, you can pass a cold sore onto another persons genital area. Then you ended up with a cold sore strain of genital herpes. Genital just being the location. And men can often show no signs or symptoms so they just don't knows, yet pass it on.

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Old 10-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #9
 
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There are about 100 different strains of hpv. About 10 or 15 are considered high risk and may cause cervical cancer if you aren't vigilant in getting regular check ups. The kind that cause warts are considered low risk.

I've had high risk hpv for the last 5 years. It has caused frustration and in some instances shame. It usually clears the system within 2 years. I've had it for 5. As I am 43 years old the vaccine is no help to me. It is possible that I contracted it in my 20's and it was dormant until 5 years ago when it was detected in a pap smear. Ive read that some doctors wont even test for hpv until a woman is over 30 because it's so ubiquitous before that point and for the most part it clears up. I lost a man I was dating last year because I disclosed it and he ran faster than the road runner. Since they can't test for it in men and it's so ubiquitous, a couple of friends have suggested that I shouldn't have said anything. I pretty much have stopped dating because of the virus as it's way easier not to go through the drama of whether or not to disclose and I dont have to worry about passing it on. The stigma surrounding the virus and the fact that only women get tested for it leads me to think that it's just another way for our patrichal society to punish women for having sex. Ive monitored my diet and exercised to no avail in an attempt to clear it. I started taking vitamins over the summer but so far nothing. I have to go for like my 10th colposcopy next week because the last pap smear I took a month ago showed changes in my cells. I am beyond fed up with it. Sorry for the novel.





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Old 10-15-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
 
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There are about 100 different strains of hpv. About 10 or 15 are considered high risk and may cause cervical cancer if you aren't vigilant in getting regular check ups. The kind that cause warts are considered low risk.

I've had high risk hpv for the last 5 years. It has caused frustration and in some instances shame. It usually clears the system within 2 years. I've had it for 5. As I am 43 years old the vaccine is no help to me. It is possible that I contracted it in my 20's and it was dormant until 5 years ago when it was detected in a pap smear. Ive read that some doctors wont even test for hpv until a woman is over 30 because it's so ubiquitous before that point and for the most part it clears up. I lost a man I was dating last year because I disclosed it and he ran faster than the road runner. Since they can't test for it in men and it's so ubiquitous, a couple of friends have suggested that I shouldn't have said anything. I pretty much have stopped dating because of the virus as it's way easier not to go through the drama of whether or not to disclose and I dont have to worry about passing it on. The stigma surrounding the virus and the fact that only women get tested for it leads me to think that it's just another way for our patrichal society to punish women for having sex. Ive monitored my diet and exercised to no avail in an attempt to clear it. I started taking vitamins over the summer but so far nothing. I have to go for like my 10th colposcopy next week because the last pap smear I took a month ago showed changes in my cells. I am beyond fed up with it. Sorry for the novel.





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My inclination was to say he seriously overreacted (for all the reasons already mentioned). But when it comes to one's health I guess I can't criticize anyone for just wanting to stay healthy.

That said, I'm glad you didn't take your friends' advice. I'd be livid if someone had ANY std and didn't tell me before having sex, regardless of how ubiquitous he thought it was. Yes, it's common, and yes, he might already have HPV and not know it. But if you have one of the high-risk strains, you'd essentially be increasing his risk of cancer (some strains can lead to cancer of the penis). That is no joke, as I'm sure you realize.

Um, and I'm curious why the fact there's no test for men led your friends to suggest you shouldn't have shared your med status?

I'm a bit unclear as to how any of it is a punishment for women for having sex too...?

I hope it goes away on its own for you.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
 
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There are about 100 different strains of hpv. About 10 or 15 are considered high risk and may cause cervical cancer if you aren't vigilant in getting regular check ups. The kind that cause warts are considered low risk.

I've had high risk hpv for the last 5 years. It has caused frustration and in some instances shame. It usually clears the system within 2 years. I've had it for 5. As I am 43 years old the vaccine is no help to me. It is possible that I contracted it in my 20's and it was dormant until 5 years ago when it was detected in a pap smear. Ive read that some doctors wont even test for hpv until a woman is over 30 because it's so ubiquitous before that point and for the most part it clears up. I lost a man I was dating last year because I disclosed it and he ran faster than the road runner. Since they can't test for it in men and it's so ubiquitous, a couple of friends have suggested that I shouldn't have said anything. I pretty much have stopped dating because of the virus as it's way easier not to go through the drama of whether or not to disclose and I dont have to worry about passing it on. The stigma surrounding the virus and the fact that only women get tested for it leads me to think that it's just another way for our patrichal society to punish women for having sex. Ive monitored my diet and exercised to no avail in an attempt to clear it. I started taking vitamins over the summer but so far nothing. I have to go for like my 10th colposcopy next week because the last pap smear I took a month ago showed changes in my cells. I am beyond fed up with it. Sorry for the novel.





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That sucks. I'm sorry that happened to you. Yes, I understand how upsetting and frustrating and upsetting that would be. But I wouldn't think of it as 'losing a man'. If he wasn't understanding and sympathetic to the situation, so be it. It's not your fault.

I can see why your friends would suggest that. Not necessarily bc he can't find out, but bc there's no way of knowing if he has it, or has ever had it in the past, and it's a weird and not understood thing.

But then again, I think, as upsetting as it would be to you, he made his decision based on the information and that's probably better for you to know that.

I've know some men to take off, or play the blame game, and I've known some very understanding men in a lot of different situations. There are all kinds out there.

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Old 10-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #12
 
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yeah that was a big gap on the show i saw...what about the men? a few ladies were married and discussed telling there partners but since a man can't get tested and can't develop cervical cancer then i think that is why it is not prudent to mention it to men because frankly, what can they do. they did mention that you can get penile, anal, oral, vulva and vaginal cancer as a result of having hpv that goes untreated but they all were rare. i wish they would have discussed how likely it is for a man to get it from a woman (the high risk variety) or more what you can do to prevent and protect yourself. they only barely touched on it. dr. oz said if a patient of his had hpv they would up their b vitamins and the 2 female ob/gyns said that smoking was the number one thing that could lead to cervical cancer if you have high risk hpv. that was a little surprising to me. when i googled i found some interesting and consistent recommendations about therapies to speed the virus leaving your system. all of it is considered alternative though. just interesting.

with the stats of 80% getting it there really needs to be more dialogue on prevention that works besides the vaccine (which they said they don't know how long it's good for on dr. oz) and treatments to help rid your body of the virus.

here's the link to the dr oz hpv show and the after show from last week.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:08 PM   #13
 
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I honestly think they don't totally know.

A friend of mine was told she had hpv back in the early 2000's. Her doctor just told her it was a virus and was probably caused by smoking. I told her, you know thats a sexually transmitted virus, right? She was so shocked. She had no idea. Her doctor was so random in her explanation it wasn't clear at all.
Viruses mutate, so it's possible they don't have all the explanations as to why or how.

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Old 10-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #14
 
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I honestly think they don't totally know.

i think you're right. reading the comments on the after show many people had similar questions.

one dr said you always have the virus. another said you can clear it.

i remember when i heard farah fawcett died from analy cancer i remember thinking how rare that seemed. now i wonder if hpv could have been the cause.

it seems because most people will clear it doctros don't want to test people so they don't freak out.

they emphasize a healthy immune system is the biggest thing to help clear the virus (listening to the after show)
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
 
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I had cervical cancer that was caused by HPV when I was 21 (1981). I had to go into the hospital (at that time they did not perform the biopsy I had in an office). They did a cone biopsy (but its was a big deal then-done in the hospital, I was knocked out, etc.) and because they could not tell how far the 'bad' cells had progressed they kept you until they received the pathology report back- that way you were in the hospital in case the cancer had spread enough that you needed to have a hysterectomy. I did not have to have that done but I went to have a pap smear every 6 months for 2 years. Since then I have had only 1 suspicious pap smear since then but it cleared the at the next test. When this happened to me I do not recall my doctor even mentioning HPV - I think I read/heard about it years later.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:25 PM   #16
 
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I had cervical cancer that was caused by HPV when I was 21 (1981). I had to go into the hospital (at that time they did not perform the biopsy I had in an office). They did a cone biopsy (but its was a big deal then-done in the hospital, I was knocked out, etc.) and because they could not tell how far the 'bad' cells had progressed they kept you until they received the pathology report back- that way you were in the hospital in case the cancer had spread enough that you needed to have a hysterectomy. I did not have to have that done but I went to have a pap smear every 6 months for 2 years. Since then I have had only 1 suspicious pap smear since then but it cleared the at the next test. When this happened to me I do not recall my doctor even mentioning HPV - I think I read/heard about it years later.
thanks for sharing your story. i'm glad you are healed! did your diagnosis effect your fertility? thinking back, did you do anything to "clear" your system? i think it's like iroc said, the doctors just don't know. i do think that now that the vaccine is available there's a lot more talk and fear about it. when they said don't even test women under 30 because most have it i was like whoa but if it can develop in to cancer shouldn't everybody get tested when you start being sexually active and having paps? again, there's so much conflicting information out there and the clearing of it seems a bit random. some people do nothing and it clears on its own then ladyv69 has been watching hers and made modifications and it hasn't cleared after 5 years.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:30 PM   #17
 
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I had cervical cancer that was caused by HPV when I was 21 (1981). I had to go into the hospital (at that time they did not perform the biopsy I had in an office). They did a cone biopsy (but its was a big deal then-done in the hospital, I was knocked out, etc.) and because they could not tell how far the 'bad' cells had progressed they kept you until they received the pathology report back- that way you were in the hospital in case the cancer had spread enough that you needed to have a hysterectomy. I did not have to have that done but I went to have a pap smear every 6 months for 2 years. Since then I have had only 1 suspicious pap smear since then but it cleared the at the next test. When this happened to me I do not recall my doctor even mentioning HPV - I think I read/heard about it years later.
They only discovered the HPV virus in the early or mid 80's and the strains that can cause cervical cancer, so it's likely they knew practically nothing about it at the time you were treated. Thankfully, you're still here.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:40 PM   #18
 
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I don't know how they don't test for it - I mean, hpv will usually cause abnormal cells that will show up in a pap. They have to further test those cells to see if they're a concern or not.

But then again, whether the cells are showing up abnormally bc of hpv or another reason, they're still going to biopsy it, so maybe it doesn't matter. It's confusing, and like I said, it seems like they really don't have a lot of information.

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Old 10-15-2012, 06:59 PM   #19
 
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There are about 100 different strains of hpv. About 10 or 15 are considered high risk and may cause cervical cancer if you aren't vigilant in getting regular check ups. The kind that cause warts are considered low risk.

I've had high risk hpv for the last 5 years. It has caused frustration and in some instances shame. It usually clears the system within 2 years. I've had it for 5. As I am 43 years old the vaccine is no help to me. It is possible that I contracted it in my 20's and it was dormant until 5 years ago when it was detected in a pap smear. Ive read that some doctors wont even test for hpv until a woman is over 30 because it's so ubiquitous before that point and for the most part it clears up. I lost a man I was dating last year because I disclosed it and he ran faster than the road runner. Since they can't test for it in men and it's so ubiquitous, a couple of friends have suggested that I shouldn't have said anything. I pretty much have stopped dating because of the virus as it's way easier not to go through the drama of whether or not to disclose and I dont have to worry about passing it on. The stigma surrounding the virus and the fact that only women get tested for it leads me to think that it's just another way for our patrichal society to punish women for having sex. Ive monitored my diet and exercised to no avail in an attempt to clear it. I started taking vitamins over the summer but so far nothing. I have to go for like my 10th colposcopy next week because the last pap smear I took a month ago showed changes in my cells. I am beyond fed up with it. Sorry for the novel.





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My inclination was to say he seriously overreacted (for all the reasons already mentioned). But when it comes to one's health I guess I can't criticize anyone for just wanting to stay healthy.

That said, I'm glad you didn't take your friends' advice. I'd be livid if someone had ANY std and didn't tell me before having sex, regardless of how ubiquitous he thought it was. Yes, it's common, and yes, he might already have HPV and not know it. But if you have one of the high-risk strains, you'd essentially be increasing his risk of cancer (some strains can lead to cancer of the penis). That is no joke, as I'm sure you realize.

Um, and I'm curious why the fact there's no test for men led your friends to suggest you shouldn't have shared your med status?

I'm a bit unclear as to how any of it is a punishment for women for having sex too...?

I hope it goes away on its own for you.
There is the thought among some people that the burden for this virus is unfairly placed on women since the test for it is only available for us. A number of experts feel that disclosing the virus to potential partners is the responsible thing to do in order to prevent the spread of it but I'm ambivalent about doing this now. The test hasn't been developed for men and there's little interest in having one for them. They have literally no knowledge of it and can pass it on to God knows how many people. Some people feel disclosing it to them serves little purpose as they can't do anything about it and many people get it sometime over the course of their lives anyway. As stated previously, there isn't anything that can be done to prevent it outside of abstinence as coital sex isn't the only way a person can get it and condoms aren't 100% effective. You can get it through skin to skin contact, oral sex, etc. I've come to believe that the reason the test isn't being developed for men is mainly for political and social reasons, rather than biological since sexual activity among men is viewed in a favorable light, particularly among those who have a lot of partners. Sexual activity among women is still viewed in a number of circles in a negative light, regardless of how many partners she has. Developing a test that is only available for women, then scaring the hell out of them when they are told they've tested positive and then have them shouldering the burden of informing potential partners is one of our society's ways of shaming and punishing women for having sex. I'm not dismissing cervical cancer, by any means. In fact, before the pap test was developed, it was the most common cancer among women. The pap smear is mainly responsible for cervical cancer being only the 9th or 10th most common cancer among women now. I just wish that the test for hpv was expanded to include both men and women, that the stigma surrounding it would ease and that shouldering such a heavy burden for disclosure for a virus that is so ubiquitous isn't placed on only one sex. It's gotten to the point where I'm not sure I ever want to date or have sex ever again. Should the high risk strain virus I have ever go dormant with me, I don't know if I can go through years of anxiety and shame again. As there are at least 100 strains of it, there's no guarantee that I won't ever get another strain of it.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #20
 
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^^^ hugs ^^^
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