[Question #277] HPV

94 months ago

I was diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia 23 years ago (CIN 2-3). i had a cervical cone biopsy; the margins were clear and I have never had a recurrence. In addition, I have had HPV testing on my cervix 3 times over the past 9 year, most recently 2 months ago. All tests have come back negative. But, this test only assesses whether the virus is present on my cervix. Could I still have the virus on other parts of my genitals and potentially transmit it during oral sex? I am divorced and have just begun a new relationship. I want to make sure that my partner is safe.

Thank you for addressing my question.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
94 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I'll do my best to help.   Based on what you say, the evidence is strong that you no longer have genital HPV -the testing for HPV that you have done, would most likely have also detected HPV at other sites in your genital tract other than the cervix.  As to whether or not you, or for that matter, your new partner have HPV, it is difficult to say.  Give that your dysplasia was diagnosed more than 20 years ago, I suspect you are somewhere beyond your mid-30's and you should take comfort that, as we age, the HPV infections that virtually all people get tends to resolve and no longer be detectable. 

I appreciate your concern for your partner's health but I urge you not to worry because of your past dysplasia.  While it is difficult to give you a complete assurance that you might not have HPV elsewhere, I suspect it is unlikely at this time and I can assure you that the chance that you have it, will transmit it to your new partner or that it will cause problems for them are very, very low.  Please remember that while most (well over 85%) sexually active people acquire HPV, it persists and leads to serious health consequences in only a small fraction of 1% of such persons and that those consequences are almost entirely avoidable through regular health care and dental checks.  Thus I urge you to have no concern that you might have HPV elsewhere or that it would cause trouble for your partners.  Incidentally, if your partner had asked the same question, I would have given a similar answer, i.e. that most people become infected, that it usually resolves without therapy (that you developed dysplasia was just bad luck, nothing more), and that it is nothing to let impact your relationship with your current or even future partners. 

I urge you to feel confident that your long resolved cervical dysplasia does not pose a health risk to your current or future partner.  EWH

94 months ago
Thank you so much for your detailed response. This gives me great peace of mind.