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High Risk HPV

By October 13, 2012 - 6:24pm
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I'm 44 years old and just recently had my annual pap test. My doctor sent me a letter with the following: "recent pap smear showed no cytologic or cellular abnormalities; however, testing for the high risk subtypes of the HPV were positive". The letter goes on to say how common HPV is and not to be overly concerned at this point and to come back for yearly pap tests. Well, I can't help myself, I'm concerned .... Overly concerned. I have had pap smears every year since I was 16 and they have always been normal. I don't know if I have been previously tested for HPV or if it's something that is tested along with the pap test. I have read online that it can clear up but can come back - I dont understand all the info - I don't understand how if you have you will always have so wont I always test positive for it now. Some articles suggest that it will clear up in about 24 months ??? Can someone help me understand. Also should I wait a year for another test or be checked more frequently?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi TB,

You will need to discuss the results with your doctor, so he can explain what he wants you to do.



October 15, 2012 - 5:05am
EmpowHER Guest


Hi TB,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Here are some information on HPV treatments. But, you need to speak to your doctor about your results and on which treatment is best.  If not, you need to get a second opinion from another OBGYN. 


Treatment of Human Papilloma Virus

Common warts on the skin may be treated by freezing (cryosurgery) or salicylic acid products (Occlusal, TransVer-Sal, Duofilm, and Viranol). Recurrences are frequent and laser therapy may be effective in severe cases.

Genital warts often occur in clusters and can accumulate into large masses on genital tissues. They often reappear after treatment. Depending on factors such as their size and location, genital warts are treated in several ways:

  • A doctor may recommend treatment with a chemical such as 25 percent podophyllin solution, which is applied to the affected area and washed off after several hours. Podophyllin should not be used during pregnancy because it is absorbed by the skin and may cause birth defects.
  • Small warts can be removed by freezing (with liquid nitrogen) or burning (electrodesiccation). Imiquimod, a 5 percent cream that is an interferon inducer, has moderate activity in clearing external genital warts.
  • Surgery is occasionally needed to remove large warts that have not responded to other treatment. Doctors at some medical centers also use laser surgery to remove genital warts.
  • Cervical infection and cellular changes may require colposcopy, a painless examination during which a lighted magnifying instrument is used to view the internal reproductive organs in women.
  • In some cases, it is necessary to do a biopsy of cervical tissue. This involves taking a small sample of tissue from the cervix and examining it under the microscope. Depending on the nature of the cervical lesion, cauterization, freezing (cryosurgery), laser, or surgery may be necessary.




October 15, 2012 - 3:48am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Daisy,
Thank you for the response. I don't have warts - never have. So that's why I don't understand this diagnosis. I don't understand the "virus clearing in 24 months"..... I have no visible symptoms, no symptoms what-so-ever......but I have this high risk HPV and that it can clear within 24 months of acquisition, does that mean I have just acquired it or it's been dormant and just decided to rear its ugly head?
Thank you!!

October 15, 2012 - 4:27am
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Human papillomavirus (HPV)

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