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Author Topic: HPV Question?
Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Is it true that a huge majority of people are infected with HPV? And is it also true that men cannot be tested for such an infection?

Friend of mine told me this.

Just curious.

-Mike

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:
quote:
How common is HPV?
At least 50% of sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives. Every year in the United States (U.S.), about 6.2 million people get HPV. HPV is most common in young women and men who are in their late teens and early 20s.

They also says this:
quote:
Is there a test for HPV in men?
At the moment, there is no test approved to detect HPV in men. However, there are ways to detect the most common problem caused by HPV in men, genital warts. Genital warts are usually diagnosed by visual inspection.



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Dreams of Thinking Machines
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A director of a public health clinic visited my high school last year and stated/estimated that 60% of all people get HPV during their lives. Most people who get the disease won't even show symptoms of HPV. From what I've heard and read I sometimes wonder if it can't be spread through casual contact, and not through just sexual means.

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Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

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LadyLockeout
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is an hpv test part of the yearly exam? Anyone know? I don't recall offhand what they test for, besides actual cervical cancer. If it's not part of the package, I think I want to get it this year, if I can.

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landmammal
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No, the pap smear only tests for changes in cervical cells. When I went to Planned Parenthood for exams, they suggested it but I think usually you'd have to ask for it. I just had it done at my regular doctor and it was about $80 without insurance just for the HPV test.

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by landmammal:
No, the pap smear only tests for changes in cervical cells. When I went to Planned Parenthood for exams, they suggested it but I think usually you'd have to ask for it. I just had it done at my regular doctor and it was about $80 without insurance just for the HPV test.

Changes in the cells of the cervix can indicate HPV though. Some doctors do include the test with PAPs but some don't. It would definitely be worth asking LLO. My Dr. gave me one included with a PAP back in 1992 or 1993 before they even started talking about how dangerous it could be.

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landmammal
Deck the Malls


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I think most changes in cervical cells are caused by HPV, but because you can have HPV for years before the changes start, it's better to get tested for that as well as the regular pap smear.

Now that I think about it though, what do they do when they know you've got HPV? Say they've found you have a strain that can lead to cervical cancer, but you don't have any precancerous cells. Do they make you come in for a pap smear every few months or do they go ahead and remove what they think is the infected area?

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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So that means if you've had sex with more then two people in yourl ife your odds of getting it are pretty high? Or is it only in unprotected sex?

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Bleu:
So that means if you've had sex with more then two people in yourl ife your odds of getting it are pretty high? Or is it only in unprotected sex?

If by protected sex you mean a barrier method such as the condom/femidom, then I would suppose that would give the same level of protectection against HPV as is does against AIDS or other STD's - debatable but better than nothing.

As to an earlier question by Dreams of thinking machines regarding casual transmission it seems likely that HPV could be transmitted to the genitals from another source.

DS had a persistant wart on his face, and another on his hand. The treatment for his facial wart wasn't very effective, until the doctor pointed out that he has likely transmitting the virus back to his face from his hand.

I've hear it said that herpes can be transmitted from the mouth to the genitals during oral sex, so I can believe it's possible to transmit one of the wart virii from the hand to the genitals.

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"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I had HPV in my early 20's. It was detected via an abnormal pap that revealed "precancerous cells" that were subsequently removed - unfortunately not before I had infected soon DH (at that time he was still SO). While I have not had a recurrance, DH gets a wart every 2-3 years or so that needs to be removed (oowie!). I'd feel bad about giving it to him, but in my defense, the doctor that diagnosed me told me that it was not an STD. [Eek!] The pap I was taking was in order to get on bc pills so we could stop using condoms. Had the doc known what the hell he was talking about, we would have continued with condoms, and DH likely would never have been infected.

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landmammal
Deck the Malls


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While condoms help, they're not as effective at preventing HPV (particularly genital warts) and herpes transmission as they are at preventing HIV transmission. That's because the infections can be present in places other than on the penis and in the vagina. A condom won't necessarily cover the affected area.

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Mickey Blue
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Wow, something new to fear in the dating world [Smile]

Oh well, I have used protection every single time I've had sex (by which I mean a condom) and I don't plan to stop having sex all togather, so I figure I'll just use common sense, caution, and then I guess leave the rest up to chance, like all the other people do.

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Anyte
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I've had sex with one person in my life, and I have it.

As far as cell-changing or high risk HPV goes, if you are diagnosed by some means other than abnormal cells on the cervix, I'm not aware of any treatment. The treatment, as stands, is to remove the abnormal cells. No abnormal cells, nothing to remove. The reason, or rather, one of the reasons that so many people are symptom free for so many years is that your body is capable of fighting the virus on its own. If or when, for whatever reason, it fails to do so, pre-cancerous cells can be the result.

Rhoadie, there are many different strains of the virus, the ones that cause changes to cervical cells are not neccessarily the ones that cause warts. And, as mentioned, HPV can be transmitted even when condoms are used correctly and consistently. It requires only skin to skin contact, and not an exchange of fluids.

I was diagnosed via abnormal pap smear. I had a follow up pap immediately, followed by a colposcopy and a LEEP. (Translated into English, they poked and prodded and removed part of my cervix.) The follow up was pap smear every 3 months for a year, every six months for a year and a half, then yearly.

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candycane from strangers
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Reading this makes me never want to have sex again.

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A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
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mindy
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I have it and I was not sexually active. Lots of people do have it. Its very common.
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mindy
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I have it and I was not sexually active. Lots of people do have it. Its very common.
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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Bleu:
So that means if you've had sex with more then two people in yourl ife your odds of getting it are pretty high? Or is it only in unprotected sex?

If by protected sex you mean a barrier method such as the condom/femidom, then I would suppose that would give the same level of protectection against HPV as is does against AIDS or other STD's - debatable but better than nothing.[...]
I think this point needs reiteration: HPV spreads through skin contact, especially in warm, moist places. It can spread through any oral or genital contact. Some studies have shown condoms to be ineffective against HPV but more recent studies give evidence that they are fairly effective. In any case, as long as there is prolonged and/or moist skin contact, the disease can spread.
quote:
Originally posted by mindy:
I have it and I was not sexually active. Lots of people do have it. Its very common.

Not sure what you mean but just to be sure: In this case, "sexually active" means having sex, not being promiscuous.
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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Originally posted by candiru from strangers:
Reading this makes me never want to have sex again.

I think that if I feared everything I ever heard could harm me I would be resigned to suicide. Medical news is a double-edged sword. You are given overly cautious information to avoid succumbing to unmentioned problems and side-effects. But on the other hand you live in fear of everything.

Plus sex is a NFBSKing good time. [lol]

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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candycane from strangers
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MapleLeaf, you're right. If I get scared of everything that has a possible negative outcome I'd better stop riding in cars, walking up and down stairs and taking showers (I could slip!). I suppose that like everything caution will do me good.

I think the only difference is that those things are needed, and I have no other way to get the job done. I know if there was some small, easy to use battery operated thing that could get me where I needed to go or make me clean I'd use cars and showers less. [lol]

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Me: "He's 19? Uh oh, I bought him a beer."
A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by candiru from strangers:
if there was some small, easy to use battery operated thing that could get me where I needed to go...

Well, there's the solution to your fear of contracting a STD. [Wink]

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Cervus, I think that was candy's point. You can use a vibrator in lieu of sex. You can't use a handy battery-powered device to get clean or get to work.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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moonfall86
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There's always the vaccine. I'm not certain if it does any good if you already have HPV, though.

I plan on getting it soon. Hopefully my insurance covers it.

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Anyte:
Rhoadie, there are many different strains of the virus, the ones that cause changes to cervical cells are not neccessarily the ones that cause warts.

Interesting. I didn't realize this. Thank you.

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moonfall86
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Can abnormal cervical cells be caused by something else? My mother had precancerous cells removed a number of years ago, and she became upset when I asked if she might have had HPV, therefore passing it on to me at birth.

Yeah, I know, it was probably kind of stupid of me to bring it up.

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landmammal
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quote:
99 percent of cervical cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
So there's a 1% chance she didn't get it from HPV.

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Spamamander in a pear tree
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I don't think it was stupid to bring up...

My mom never realised that is what she had until the commercials and such brought HPV into the limelight. She'd had one slightly abnormal pap and a wart removed, but back then they didn't say anything about what it was. It's quite likely I contracted it from her at birth, as well as my sister (though admittedly mine could have come from my first sexual partner, who was very promiscuous.) I didn't know I was a carrier- my oldest child had rectal warts and we were at a loss how she contracted them. Unfortunately we ran into a very over-zealous medical resident one night at the ER when we had her in for a severe UTI who decided it must have been sexual abuse and it wasn't until the ordeal was over that someone off-handedly mentioned that I might be a silent carrier.

Now it's been confirmed that I have the virus, as I had a lesion on my cervix of pre-cancerous cells that had to be removed via a LEEP procedure, and I have to go back for another pap as there was another abnormal smear after this. It's pretty scary, since I have to wonder if reoccurance might mean early stage cervical cancer.

With the vaccine becoming available and knowing the virus/ cancer link I think it's absolutely imperative this become an open topic. It's incredibly prevelent and should not carry a stigma- we need to be encouraging women to be keeping a close eye on their reproductive health.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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Fantine
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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You can also get genital warts from skin-to-skin contact with someone who has warts on his hands. This I know, I'm sorry to say, from personal experience. The strain of HPV I got is not any of the types linked to cervical cancer, luckily. I've had a couple of painful outbreaks of warts, but from what I understand, the kind I got is usually overcome by the immune system within a year. It's been six months since my last outbreak, and my husband never got them at all (except the original warts, on his hands).

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--Cinderella's Prince, Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim

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Bach_girl
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quote:
Originally posted by landmammal:
quote:
99 percent of cervical cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
So there's a 1% chance she didn't get it from HPV.
She had abnormal cells- not cancer, there is a big difference.

cite

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landmammal
Deck the Malls


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Moonfall said her mother had precancerous cells, which I understand to mean that she would have had cervical cancer if the cells weren't excised.

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I can't put my arms down!

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