Questions asked about HPV infection

How long might a woman have had the infection?

The virus might have been present for some time before its detection. Some people come across the virus and never show its presence, developing a kind of immunity. In others it can remain in the body without harm for considerable periods of time or be quickly dealt with by the immune system.

Is there any treatment?

There is no reliable treatment to get rid of the virus, but since in most women it disappears spontaneously over time, a "wait and see policy" is the usual management.

Can men be tested for HPV?

At present there is no reliable test to demonstrate the presence of the virus in men.

For a fuller explanation of the link between HPV and cervical cancer, see The Aetiology of Cervical Cancer.

More information about HPV and cervical screening