HPV positive after routine smear


I’ve received a letter after my smear to say I’m hpv positive and I’m so confused. My last smear did not show anything and that was 2019, would they of checked for that in 2019?
As I have the virus, can I pass it on or have I passed it on?
I was married for 25 years and widowed 4 years ago and started a new relationship last year. Has my new partner given it to me? Have I given it to him?
Im at my wits end, I thought I was starting a new chapter in my life after being widowed and now I feel it’s halted and have to have another smear in 12 months. What do I do in the 12 months, is it like a ticking time bomb?
Can I have a hysterectomy to get rid of the cervix (my plumbing has never worked as it should have).
Sorry for so many questions but it’s driving me insane.
Or am I worrying over nothing?

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Hi Jane,

I’m going to reply straight away because I really feel for you and the questions that you are asking are all perfectly natural. I’m not your health care provider, so all I can say is what is likely; I can’t give any definitive answers.

Testing was finally rolled out across the whole UK in December 2019. Depending on where you live it may well be that you were tested for HPV in 2019; but not certain. I found out I had HPV in 2020, but I must have had it for many years. I missed testing in 2017, as they were not testing then.

I suspect you have got it from your new partner - not because he’s done anything wrong, but I’m guessing he’s not in the first flush of youth and about 80% of the sexually active population will have HPV. I’m guessing he would have had a relationship before he met you, which makes him more liable than not, statistically, to carry it. It is possible of course that you have had it for many years, or that you both had it for many years… either way, neither of you has done anything wrong and it’s just a shame that it’s only recently been tested for, as people get an almighty shock when they come up positive…

Statistically, the likelihood of your developing abnormal cells is very small. If you do, the chances of it progressing to cancer is about 6%, even less if you’re regularly checked and any abnormal cells are dealt with by removal quickly and simply if they are found.

No, you will not have a hysterectomy because you have HPV. You would only be offered that option on the basis of cervical issues alone if you had persistent CIN3 (advanced pre-cancerous changes) or very early cancer. You are a million miles from that.

I’m guessing the letter said no abnormal cells - otherwise I’m guessing you would have mentioned it. So - all is okay. If you and your new partner are in an exclusive arrangement you’re not going to be passing it to anyone else, and the likelihood is that another adult would have, or have had, it already.

So simply - never give up having smears and you will probably be worrying over nothing. :relieved:


Thank you Jacks, I appreciate your comments

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