26 years married and I have HPV

Ive had my smear test back abnornall cells and HPV. I have been with my husbsnd for nearly 30 years and I have been faithfull and belive he has too- how is it showing now when other smerars have been clear???

Firstly, when was your last smear? In the U.K, testing for HPV is fairly recent (2018), previous smears only looked at cell changes. Secondly, HPV can lay dormant in the body for years and then rear it’s head.


I had a smear in 2018 and it was clear then, they showed me the results the first time I went to clinic for the biopsy, im going in a month to get the loop thing to remove the abnormal cells- not looking forword to that!

Hi Ninsi,

When you say “clear” does that mean your sample was tested for HPV and that came back as negative? Or just clear in regards to cells changes?

Chances are, HPV has just flared up in your body after being dormant. Try not to worry, easier said than done I know… Hopefully your smear in a year’s time will show that HPV has cleared again :slight_smile:

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Clear of hpv it says. Cross fingers it will be clear then.


HPV is one of the mysteriously common, silent viruses (like HSV, that causes cold sores) that we don’t really understand fully because it lives long term in the human body and most of the time causes no harm. Most of the time it is undetectable and because of this we do not ever know if it can be ‘cured’. If you read medical journals about it you will see that when people refer to it as ‘gone’ it indicates that it cannot be detected; i.e. it is inactive. Like the HSV virus, which is also thought never to leave your body, it is not always active but can become active during periods of stress when your immunity is low; this can be referred to as an ‘infection’. Otherwise the body’s immune system keeps it under check. We cannot know if it is truly ‘gone’ (as in eradicated) because while it is inactive (or dormant, as people say) there is no way to test for it. There is no blood test that will show if there is HPV in the body. In a sense the same could be said of cancer. Those of us who have been treated for cancer know that what we want to hear is ‘NED’ - no evidence of disease. This doesn’t mean that nothing will return; although we hope so, this cannot be guaranteed by NED - only that at this point in time there is no disease. This is why we have regular check ups.

Cervical smear tests look for the active virus in the area of the cervix. The virus only has the potential to cause cell changes while it is in an active state. Many women are never subject to cell changes even if the virus is active at some times. HPV is extremely common, as is HSV. Some people have more flare-ups of warts, for example, than others and some people have periods when they have cold sores regularly for a while. HPV really should not be described as an STI as it’s much more common and it’s not something that can be ‘removed’ with treatment like regular infections. It can also be vaccinated against, although (like with many vaccines) this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get every strain of HPV. There are over 200 strains, and they can cause small changes in different parts of the body (like warts, which everyone knows about).

Whilst all this isn’t reassuring from the point of view of ‘getting rid of it’, it does mean that if you have repeat incidents of detection of HPV years apart it does not suggest that you’ve been ‘reinfected’; more like it simply was not active all the time. The best thing we can do for ourselves is get regularly checked, eat healthy, keep our immune systems strong (don’t smoke, for instance) and be positive. For some of us even the most careful lives will not prevent HPV from causing a problem; but that’s just the way life is. The tiny children going through for radiotherapy for cancer did nothing at all to cause it… neither should we be looking for blame. X


Thank you very much for replying,it has pur my mind at ease. I did have a stressful few months before my smear and my immunity was probably low. Hopefully it will nor be detected next time. Hope nothing is detected on your test too.x

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