Please help :( Positive HPV but normal PAP - is this good or bad??

Hi Everyone, 

I had my third smear in August 18 (two previously since I was 25 and both came back normal with no abnormal cells) however, this time i've tested postive for HPV but I don't have any abnormal cells. 

I've never even heard of HPV before now, so i'm completely freaking out! As usual i've imdediately gone to google and read some horror stories - but saying that, i've not got a clue what this means to me and if I should be worried. 

Has anybody else had the same results? And if so, what happened? I've been asked to go back in a years time for a further screening, but I think i'm going to go insane if I have to wait that long! 

I've got an appointment with my GP on Friday to discuss further, and hopefully figure out what is going on and get some more answers. 

I dont know if i'm high risk or low risk - does anybody have any ideas? I have had no symptoms whatsoever, so this has come as a complete shock and i'm begining to think the worst. :( I can't stop thinking about it and I just feel sick to the bottom of my stomach. 

Thanks very much in advance xxx

Thats exactly whats happend to me . The nurse wasnt very helpful or supportive . I wasnt told if i was high risk or low risk or where to go from here thats why ive logged in here for support .x 


HPV has no symptoms so it comes a shock for everyone, it’s actually the most common sti and can lie dormant for years. You’re not gonna get CC overnight from it so the fact you have no abnormal changes is a positive thing! You have time to boost your immune system and fight it :) 

A year is a long time but they are keeping an eye on you! I also didn’t know much about HPV and having to learn from google was hard but you have to sift through the rubbish in magazine websites and focus on the facts. You can clear HPV so think positive :) 

Good luck! 

Hey Debs, 

It's not very good is it really, I think it's so unfair that they just drop this bombshell and be like "see you in a year!" - i'm like woah, hang on! 

I went to see my GP last night, (i'd not seen him before) and my goodness, what a gem he was! I took my letter which he read, and asked me what I was scared of and what i'd read. I basically told him I was terrified of getting CC and that I didn't really have a clue what HPV was. 

What he told me was that CC can take up to 10 years to start, it doesn't just happen over night like a switch, otherwise smears would be absolutley pointlesss. He said there is about 6 stages to it becoming cancer: Normal Cells > Abnormals Cells > CIN 1 > CIN 2 > CIN 3 (this still isn't cancer) > Cancer. 

So even if women do miss a year, the fact that they screen every 3 years, would ultimately mean that if you did miss a screen, on the 6th year you would still be caught and any changes would be treated. :) 

He said and by that point, you'd have been checked and screened and it would've been all lasered away by that point. He also said that it would take 41,000 smears to find that one woman who'd have CC straight away (because generally, everyone one else would've been screened and would never actually get to that point) The majority of women will relapse back to the start, even when they're at CIN 3. 

I also asked him if CC was the second biggest killer in women, and he said that wasn't true - it's about the 15th. It just happens to be the most common cancer in young women, which is why there is so much money thrown at it in order to help prevent it and treat it. 

He said also, that if it was any consolation (which at this point, i'd listen to anything!) that only about 3000 women were diagnosed with it last year, and only 800 women died - and those women were probably those who didn't go through the regular screening processes and or never got screened. (obviously that's not for everybody) but the considering there is about 31million women in the UK, the odds are fairly slim. 

Anyway, I feel lots better after seeing him, and I just flipping wish they'd tell you this in the letter, rather than frightening women and just expecting them to be okay. I did tell him how anxious i'd felt, and how upset i'd been - and he said that I wasn't the only women he'd seen and had to have the same conversation because they were so scared. 

I asked him about having he vaccine for further strains and if it was worth having, and he did say that he thinks i've probably missed the boat (I think because i'm too old - i'm only 31!) 

I also asked him if there was anything I could do to try and fight it, and he said there wasn't much apart from try to stay healthy with a good immune system. 

I'm due for my next screening in August 19, but after all this, i'd happily have them every 6 months that's for sure! 

I hope this makes you feel a bit better and somewhat re assured :) 

Lots of love xxx

Thanks Sammie I'm glad you had a good experience when you returned to the Drs . I still think like you said we need more information given in leaflets when we get our results in or at least a phone number where we can get advice . I have had polyps removed that were tested CN1 . Had those removed and had my cervix lasered also . Three years ago I had a clear smear test . As you can see I'm older and been married 32 years so what a blow as the nurse just said it's a sti look after your sexual health ....end off and she did say at least the cells didn't show cancer . I did ask if it was possible to pay private to have a smear in 6 months time but she said it wasn't worth it .  Like you Jodie I had to Google it and weed out the rubbish . I'm actually found an American site that was very informative . Now for me my only problem is do I still have sexual contact with my husband . A year is a long time . I have been looking after my health as well by eating healthy and getting exercise and less stress to help fight it . I have read you can have the hpv virus for two years but now I wonder how long have I had it . Am I free of it now or in a years time will they tell me when retested that I still have it .

It's going to be a long year .

I had no idea what to do when it came to my partner, we've been together over 8 years so all I could think was I've had this for so long, he must have it too. I told him about it and he's so chill he wasn't worried, but I am so scared that we're passing it back and forth. Doctors just tell you not to worry because there is nothing more they can do :(

Good luck with your next smear, hopefully we'll all clear it :)

Hopefully we will .


 Just had my smear and it was clear of hpv . A whole year of worrying . Hope yours was good news sammie x

So pleased for you!! That’s fantastic news! Are you back to 3 yearly screening? Mine is booked in for next week.... praying it’s good news! Xx 

Can someone please explain what do it mean when your Pap smear is NORMAL but you tested positive for HPV 16 which is high risk ?


HPV is a virus. They now (in England) test for HPV first. If HPV is present, they look at the cells. They do this by spreading them out on a slide to see if they look normal or abnormal. 

Most sexually active people catch HPV at some point. It usually clears up by itself in under 2 years. If it hangs around longer, it may start to cause the cells to change. So it is possible on a test to have hpv but for your cells to be normal. Standard procedure is to call you back for another smear in a year instead of 3 years. For most people the hpv has gone by then and it's back to 3 or 5 year screening 


2 days a go I found out that during my routine smear they had found HPV present. I got this news via a text message from the practice nurse ust saying it's nothing to worry about. Well of course I'm worrying! I rang the nurse that told me it's common and that it may of laid dormant and that they would retest in a years time. I have no other information than what I've found on Google and I must say that's not really set my mind at ease. 

My results where exactly the same I think some type of leaflet needs to be given at the time of smear I've been going out of my mind with worry and stressing myself out 

I couldn't agree more I got a call yesterday . I'm HVP RISK HIGH and to come back in a year . Just had a recent mammogram scare so just got over that panick ( everything is fine ) that wait was long enough

Hi guys 

Totally new to this forum but like all of you have had a positive HPV result with no abnormal cells and now I'm freaking out! 
I had the coil fitted in February which is when they did my smear test and 2 weeks prior to fitting they also carried out a STI test which came back all fine. 
I too have looked at google and have now scared myself stupid! 

I don't really know what I'm asking if I'm honest, I will call on Monday to speak to my GP but I'm now just so worried 

Hey girls, 

Couldn't agree more, back in 2018 when I got my first set of results, the information they provided was shocking, and google is the enemy when it comes to things like this! I got called back again in 2019 for my second smear, and again my results showed that HPV was still present but there was no abnormal cells.... sigh!!! 

I've got my third smear test today, hoping and praying that everything is back to normal, as they say it takes about two years for the immune system to fight off the virus - so lets see! However I did notice that there is soooooo much more information given now, possibly because they've now realised that they were scaring women to death!

Sending lots of love to you all xxx 

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Hi everyone. I've just had my smear test result and Ive got HPV. No mention of high or low risk but I have no abnormal cell changes. Reading all your comments has made me feel like I'm not the only one but I felt so sick when I read up on it and the realisation of having to wait to see if it goes on its own! I'm in a fairly new relationship after splitting with my husband and now I don't know if to tell him. Especially knowing he can't have a test to see if he has it anyway and that there is no treatment. I haven't had any symptoms so have no idea when I caught it. Feel so helpless! 


am the same as you first hpv positive results and never heard of it before and like you frecking out big time cry hence why I come on here thanks to it being on the bottom of my letter with results..

Just feel like I've let myself down

Hope your appointment help

Sorry I now you posted this up many years ago how are things ?


I have just had my letter through this morning stating I have hpv but cells are normal,I have made the mistake of google and won't lie I feel so dirty ATM.I am going to call my doctor tomorrow as they have not said if I'm a high risk?I just want to cry tbh as not sure who I could talk to?I have been with my partner for almost 3 years now but due to his work and him working away I do not see him alot(that is a blessing ATM)Any help would be a huge help to me atm

I have just had my letter through this morning stating I have hpv but cells are normal,I have made the mistake of google and won't lie I feel so dirty ATM.I am going to call my doctor tomorrow as they have not said if I'm a high risk?I just want to cry tbh as not sure who I could talk to?I have been with my partner for almost 3 years now but due to his work and him working away I do not see him alot(that is a blessing ATM)Any help would be a huge help to me atm