Question

HPV

Can human papillomavirus (HPV) go away if it is left untreated?

A Answers (2)

  • ADiane Harper, Health Education, answered
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) is not like HIV or HSV or hepatitis B, the other viruses associated with sexual activity. HPV is not transmitted by blood, semen, fluids, saliva, or secretions. Getting a natural HPV infection will not produce lasting immunity, hence you can get this same type of HPV infection over and over again.

    HPV is a virus that is almost undetected by the body, and 90% of the time HPV never does anything bad to the human body. Only in 5% of infections do precancerous changes happen. Genital warts are much rarer than infections with cancer-causing HPV types. For every one person with genital warts, there are 25 women with abnormal Pap tests due to HPV infections.
  • Most of the time, human papillomavirus (HPV) goes away by itself within two years and does not cause health problems. The immune system can fight off HPV naturally. If the body does not clear the virus, it stays in the body for many years before it causes these cancers. It is not known why HPV goes away in most, but not all, cases.

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