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When my girlfriend and I first started...

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14 Nov 2012

When my girlfriend and I first started dating, she took an HPV test and the results showed that she did not have HPV. We have been dating for a year and monogamous the whole time, but she just took another HPV test that shows she has one of the low-risk strains. How could that be? Is it possible that HPV lied dormant in one of us, didn't show up in the first test and now reactivated and shows up on this test?
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14 Nov 2012

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OB GYN Doctor's response
14 Nov 2012
Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen
Ob/Gyn Doctor
Has your girlfriend had other partners prior to you two being together? Has she had Prior abnormal PAP smears?
14 Nov 2012
Customer reply
14 Nov 2012
She has had other partners, though I am not sure if she has had prior abnormal PAP smears. Though, a previous girlfriend from about five years ago told me that I had passed her HPV.
14 Nov 2012
Customer reply
14 Nov 2012
To clarify, she has had several other partners before me, though none within the year or two before we became sexually active.
14 Nov 2012
OB GYN Doctor's response
14 Nov 2012
Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen
Ob/Gyn Doctor
Well HPV is Human Papilloma Virus and once you have had multiple partners, honestly it really is impossible to say when you got HPV and to whom you might have given it to. Plus, HPV can become totally eradicated, but also HPV can go dormant and then reactivate - so hence more than likely your girlfriends HPV is NOT a new HPV given she has had an abnormal PAP - but more than likely due to a reactivated HPV. So, it is VERY possible that the HPV she has now was from a Dormant HPV. And, also once you have HPV - it might not be active, but can remain dormant and then possibly reactivate years later. I hope this helps If you have more questions, please ask Please click on EXCELLENT (please do Not click on Poor or Bad - this hurts us, Instead Reply) Thank you
14 Nov 2012
Customer reply
14 Nov 2012
Thanks for the quick reply. I said though that I was not sure if she has had an abnormal PAP in the past. She may have never had an abnormal PAP. I'm just not sure. I know that I have had HPV. So, I'm specifically curious if she can pass an HPV test one year and then fail it the next year, even though she has been with only me. Also, isn't there a difference between an HPV test and a PAP smear?
14 Nov 2012
OB GYN Doctor's response
14 Nov 2012
Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen
Ob/Gyn Doctor
I understand you might not know about her PAP history - but it would not be unusual to an abnormal PAP at least once if she has had more than one sexual partner. If you have active HPV and the key word is ACTIVE HPV - you can pass on HPV to your parter. And yes there is a difference between a PAP and HPV test - PAP is collecting the cervical cells, HPV tests for the Virus itself called HPV. I hope this helps If you have more questions, please ask Please click on EXCELLENT (please do Not click on Poor or Bad - this hurts us, Instead Reply) Thank you
14 Nov 2012
Customer reply
14 Nov 2012
Thanks again. So, just to clarify, specifically for an HPV test, if we both have had multiple previous sexual partners but are monogamous now and she passed the first HPV test, she can fail the second HPV test even though we're monogamous? You're saying it's likely that the HPV virus went undetected in the first test, but reactivated for the second test?
14 Nov 2012
OB GYN Doctor's response
14 Nov 2012
Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen
Ob/Gyn Doctor
If a person has had more than one partner at any point in their life, More than likely they have been exposed to HPV - so hence she could have had dormant HPV for years or decades depending On if and when she got HPV - so not necessarily during your relationship. HPV is ONLY detected if it is active, it the HPV is dormant - it is not detectable. I hope this helps If you have more questions, please ask Please click on EXCELLENT (please do Not click on Poor or Bad - this hurts us, Instead Reply) Thank you
14 Nov 2012
Customer reply
14 Nov 2012
Relist: Answer quality. I would like a second opinion from a different doctor.
14 Nov 2012
Moderator's response
14 Nov 2012
Hi, My name is XXXXXXX XXX I am the Moderator for this topic. I received your request for a second opinion and I have opened your question to other OGBYN Doctors. If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you, Camille - Moderator
14 Nov 2012
OB GYN Doctor's response
14 Nov 2012
Dr. Pfeiffer
Dr. Pfeiffer
Hello, The information you have been given is correct. HPV is a virus. It can be active or it can be dormant. This depends typically on the immune response. HPV is a fairly whimpy virus and doesn't illicit a tremendous immune response, therefore, it can become active at various times during a woman's life...even after years of normal paps or negative HPV tests. Yes, it is completely possible to see an positive. HPV test a year after a negative result....and, there is no way to determine if this is a reoccurence of prior HPV or a new strain that she may have gotten from you. The science isn't there to determine when the infection happened....just that it did. I hope this helps. Dr. Pfeiffer Ob/Gyn
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Dr. Pfeiffer
Dr. Pfeiffer
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14 Nov 2012
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