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Q. What causes presence of HPV virus after complete treatment?

Answered by
Dr. Deepali Raina
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 13, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jul 07, 2020

Hi doctor,

I was HPV 16 positivethree years back. Follow up Pap a year later showed positive for HPV 16 again. Last year Pap was normal but my Gyno doctor notes stated “pap normal but HPV still present”. I was told today that I had cleared the virus last year but why would he write HPV still present if I cleared it. Hysterectomy with removal of my cervix and uterus was done last year. Pathology of cervix and uterus were fine and normal. Last pap was 2 weeks ago. It showed abnormal cells in my vaginal cuff and HPV positive but it is not 16 or 18. The nurse told me it is a low risk type.

Dr. Deepali Raina

Obstetrics And Gynaecology


Welcome to

I understand your anxiety. The fortune thing is that even if last year HPV was present the treatment has been done in the form of hysterectomy. In fact it is over treated. I do not think it is a matter of concern.

For your vaginal HPV, low risk types are rarely responsible for any cancer. Also If one is sexually active, HPV infection keeps coming and body deals with it by its own immunity. What should concern us is a persistent HPV infection in your vaginal smears. So right now just use barrier contraception like condoms and repeat vaginal smear at 6 months. That is all. Follow up is what is needed as you are a very low risk case.

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