Do I have HPV?

Photo by W. Scifres
Many women wonder if they have an HPV infection, and fo rmore about the HPV virus you can check this site at the CDC. There are many options now in HPV testing that can check the cervix, the vagina or the rectal area. But few women get offered any testing other than testing of the cervix. We are following this subject closely as there are new developing tests of the activity of your infection, and tests of the specific type of HPV. If you wonder if you have HPV a few questions can predict the outcome of any test you may have. Firstly, have you been sexually active? About 30% of women will test positive for HPV after their first 2 years of having sex. Well, even if you say no, you haven't been sexually active this may not actually be protective against HPV infection. Non-sexual HPV transmission is possible. In fact we are getting away from calling HPV a "sexually transmitted disease" because it is transmitted in so many other ways, and perhaps is mostly transmitted non-sexually in some studies showing positive cultures on nails, and fingers, and in the mouth. Ultimately HPV transmission prevention probably would  mean that all contact from all people would be prohibited, without going into any detail at all. Infections that are very early, or infections that contain few viruses will not always be positive on HPV testing. The hc2 HPV test turns positive at about 5000 viral copies. Other  like the Cobas test are trying to be more sensitive, but it's not firmly established how many copies most women who are infected will carry. Low levels of virus carrier rates aren't always able to be detected.So even if your prior positive tests have turned negative, it's tough to say you have really cleared the virus for all time. Have you been vaccinated? On time? With all three doses? Even then, there are HPV viruses you can contract that are not covered by these strains.  Many women have not completed their series. It is better to get one shot than no shots, but Gyno Gab Gal says get all the shots! So it's complex, and this post just touches on a couple of the important factors, talk to your gyno to have the best plan for pap and HPV testing. The goal: first is to prevent all cervical cancer, and that my friends, is not a bad, nor a completely unrealistic health goal for us!


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