Ask the Doctors: Did I Already Have HPV or Did My Partner Cheat?
Is this something that can really be dormant in your system for years (close to 30 to be exact) before finally showing a positive test result? All prior tests were negative. Does this mean that my partner has been unfaithful? I’ve read that some people have it for years, but as long as 30? Can’t seem to get an answer from my nurse.
Yes, HPV (Human Papilloma virus, sometimes also known as genital warts) is much like herpes in this respect — it really can hang out in the body for many, many years. Then stress, ill health or sometimes just seemingly the physical changes associated with aging can make it express itself and cause noticeable symptoms. If you have just recently begun to show HPV-associated symptoms, please make sure to get a good physical just to make sure there isn’t anything else going on with you, health-wise.
None of this is to say that your partner has definitely not been unfaithful; that is one possibility. I don’t know that there is a test to find out definitively when you might have first been exposed to HPV. But it certainly is possible for you to have gotten it long ago.
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