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Questions from May 2010

Disappointed Asks:

You said HPV doesnt ping pong or go back and forth between partners. Does it increase the virus load though? I've had complete Cervarix shots while I was sexually active. Can I still get vaccinated with Gardasil to be protected against other types of HPV?

The answer to your first question is that viral load is not routinely tested for in clinical settings. But in research settings, it has been shown that viral load can fluctuate.

Tina Asks:

I had the LEEP procedure in Feb '09 & tested HPV negative in Jan '10. In Dec '09, my husband discovered he has genital warts. Is it possible to catch different strains of HPV from each other? or if we have the same HPV strain, can we re-infect each other?

Chances are that your partner has the same HPV types that you have if you're in a long term, monogamous relationship. There's a lot we don't know about HPV, but most experts think that the same type of HPV virus doesn't 'ping-pong' back and forth between the same partners- it is likely present in both partners and can recur.   Condom usage can reduce your risk of HPV transmission. Please also raise these questions with your healthcare provider. He or she is in the best position to give you personal medical advice.

Sally Asks:

I found out that I have HPV through a DNA test.I'm 95% sure that he gave it to me. I realize that I could have had the virus for quite some time but that it could be in remission. If the virus is in remission can it still be passed on? If so, what are the chances of me passing it to him?

Chances are pretty good that you can transmit the virus even when it’s in remission. While HPV disease in men is uncommon- particularly disease related to high risk HPV types, you might still want to think about using condoms. They can reduce your risk of HPV transmission.

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