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Does have an abnormal Pap smear and testing positive for HPV mean my spouse of 25 years has cheated? We both had previous partners prior to our marriage and all my prior tests have been negative

By Anonymous November 20, 2015 - 7:26pm
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Hello and welcome to EmpowHer,
Testing positive for HPV does not necessarily mean your husband cheated on you and I'll explain why.
Women can have HPV for many many years before it is detected on a test. This means you could have had it before you got married. Or, it could mean your husband had it before you got married, transferred it to you at some point, but then it did not show on a test until now.
It is not a sure fire way of knowing he cheated on you because of both those reasons.
Another thing to keep in mind, that in addition to there being no test for male HPV, men often do not show any signs of the infection either. So it would be impossible to know how long he had it, if he indeed transferred it to you.


November 21, 2015 - 10:58am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to fchacon)

So it's possibly for the virus to be dormant and undetected for 25 years? I never imagined my spouse would cheat on me, however that seems more realistic than have a virus for 25+ years that was never detected. Is the probability that I've had this for that long and it's never been active truly possible? I'm just very confused and not sure what to thing at this point.

November 21, 2015 - 11:36am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

So, here's where it gets a bit complex.
An HPV virus can clear up on its own and then come back. During the time it has "cleared up" or remained dormant, it cannot be transferred from one partner to the next.
So if your husband for example, had dormant HPV when you met, then say 10 years later it came back. Then you didn't become infected for another 6 months to a year. Then you HPV cleared up and remained dormant, that gives plenty to chances for a test to miss it.
That is only one example, but using the fact that it can come and go, and when its dormant it cannot be transmitted, gives a lot of possible reasons why it wasn't detected before.

November 21, 2015 - 11:52am
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