HPV question!

Hi everyone,

i was hoping that someone could please shed some light around High risk HPV.

background - around 2 years ago I had high risk HPV which I have now thankfully cleared. I was under the impression as I have read online, that once my body had cleared a certain strain of high risk HPV (let’s say strain 18) that my body has cleared it forever? I’m getting really anxious as I’ve read somewhere that although my body has cleared this strain and I am now HPV negative that it can lay dormant and just come back at any time? Is this correct?

im really scared as I thought my body had cleared this specific strain of High risk HPV and I wouldn’t have to worry about it again, but now I’m worried that it can just flare up and come back on its own.

please can someone help my confusion, does this mean that because I had high risk HPV and a year and a half later I was HPV negative that my body has cleared this virus forever or whether it could be laying dormant? (Or even give me some information on what dormancy is as I’m a bit confused)

thank you Lola x

Hello! It’s my understanding that it may lay dormant and could re-emerge during periods of high stress. For example, when you catch chicken pox it lives in your body inactive but in rare cases it could reactivate and cause shingles. I definitely think this seems to be rare and there may be issues such as compromised immune system at play. There is no point living in fear, your body has shown it can clear the virus and it’s unlikely for it to re-emerge and I’ve read multiple reports of it never re-emerging for women decades later. It’s important to keep having smears just to keep tabs but beyond that live your life :slight_smile:



You are not alone in finding HPV confusing! It may be worth e-mailing the Ask the expert service to see what they say - From what I understand, the best thing to do is live your life, look after your immune system and keep up with your cervical screening and see a Dr quickly if you develop any symptoms. Try not to let it get you down - sometimes easier said than done! I would be interested to hear what the expert service says. I was told by my consultant that the Lletz procedure I had has a 90 % success rate & most women don’t need further treatment.
Take care and hope this helps


PS you probably know this already but they recommend that you stop smoking if you are a smoker - I can recommend Jo’s helpline if ever you are having a wobble!