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Can I get the same HPV virus twice?

By June 23, 2011 - 2:01pm
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I recently found out I have HPV, more specifically genital warts. From my understanding my body can clear the virus, but never completely get rid of it. If I reach the point to where the virus is clear can I get the same strain again? Or does my body build up an immunity to that particular strain?
Also, if the virus is cleared and can't be detected, can I still have genital wart "outbreaks"?

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July 13, 2011 - 5:31pm

My site is specifically dedicated to HPV and is approved by HONCode for reliable medical information:

July 9, 2011 - 12:15am

I too have had gential warts from low grade HPV. It is so important for you to get tested. I about fainted when my results came back saying thinhgs like cervical lesions cervical dysplasia, scamous cells.. Had the coloscopy and a scraping. all came back normal. My GYN i explained,, the labs from my DR were wrong , that sometimes that does happen.(Nothing the labs said were there) to be on the safe side, would have to go back for Paps 3 and 6 months. If they came back normal, i could go back to yearly. 3 months came back normal, waiting now for 6 month results.
Learning about HPV can be confusing and overwhelming.. Go to reliable sites for your info. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

July 8, 2011 - 2:21pm
(reply to midnightbutterfly)

My family doctor referred me to an OB/Gyn. I have an appt. with him at the end of the month. I plan on discussing the HPV test with him. I have vistited every site on Google, lol, and have read a lot of helpful information. It is expecially comforting to talk with other women who have HPV and GW.
I'm happy to hear that your last pap came back normal. What a relief for you!
Thanks for the advice :)

July 11, 2011 - 10:24am

It is important that people understand that even if you cannot see active warts, this is a virus which is very contagious and the responsible thing to do is inform any partners with whom you were or become involved with so they can get themselves checked as well. Whether high or low risk HPV can be contagious at any time as it remains dormant for long periods of time and can recur. With 80% of sexually active adults estimated to have HPV it's a wonder people know so little about it. I feel the CDC has not done enough to educate the public regarding this virus and should do much more. Unfortunately physicians don't know enough in most cases either or fail to follow guidelines for dealing with high risk HPV treatment.

July 8, 2011 - 8:42am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

Much of the information I see here is incorrect, which I find very disturbing considering some of it is coming from medical professionals. There are 40 different types of hpv which can cause gw. The most recent research says that once you clear an hpv strain, your body then develops an immunity to that strain; any future outbreaks would be a new infection with a different strain.

January 24, 2016 - 10:34pm

these days, HPV is on the rise. i think that people are not informed enough because when they hear HPV they automatically think about CANCER. they are overlooking the fact that HPV has different strains and one of which causes warts/genital warts. i know this because prior to having genital warts myself, i didn't know any better. having warts crushed me, i was too depressed to start dating again. anyway, my misery ended when i tried Wartscide. thankfully, it's painless too.

July 8, 2011 - 12:17am

Thank you so much for the information. I have been really confused with what I hear from my doctor and what I read on the internet. It's nice to get a clear answer.

June 28, 2011 - 10:52am

Strains 6 and 11 are typically involved in causing 90% of genital warts. Just because you cannot see an actual wart does not mean that you are not contagious and couldn't pass the virus along to your partner. Because HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact where intercourse is not a requirement even the use of condoms, while helpful, does not guarantee you will not become infected so it is important ti let your partner know that you have HPV. Strains 6 and 11 are considered to be low risk strains of HPV. Often if a person has a low risk strain they may also have high risk strains.
You did not mention your age nor how you actually were diagnosed with genital warts. Was there ever a biopsy done? Have you had an HPV test to assure you do not have any high risk strains? If you are under 27 has your doctor recommended the vaccine? These are all important questions and I can be more helpful if you could provide that information.

June 23, 2011 - 6:48pm
(reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

I am 30 years old. My family doctor diagnosed me visually, no colposcope, after she received the results of my pap smear. It was abnormal and she said something about LSIL which she explained puts me in a low risk group. However she has referred me to an OB/GYN just to be safe. I go to him next week.
Does this mean that if I come into contact with the strain that I already have I won't get it again? Or could it cause another a different outbreak of warts?
Also, I have read that once your warts are gone and you have a normal pap that the virus is not contagious anymore. Is that true?

June 27, 2011 - 9:03am
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