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Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  30 yrs experience, awarding winning educator
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If you have had a HPV infection with a particular

Resolved Question:

Hello,
If you have had a HPV infection with a particular strain i.e. 16 and have had a successful immune response and overcome the infection, are you:
a) then immune from re-infection by the same strain of HPV?
b) immune at least in the short term assuming you have anti-bodies and memory cells?
Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: OB GYN
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please re-assign to "Genito-urinary" if that department is better placed to answer....thanks.
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 2 years ago.
No you are not immune and can be reinfected at any time. This includes both short and long term.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Dr K - so would you say that the following is misinformation or is it still a grey area and a bit of an unknown?:http://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/hpv-and-relationships/
"When HPV infection goes away the immune system will remember that HPV type and keep a new infection of the same HPV type from occurring again"
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 2 years ago.
Not true, the hpv will just go to different areas. In addition, there arent major studies done on this. How would we go about doing it? As you are older and exposed to more viruses, there is less likelihood of hpv causing a problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks again Dr K, so in your opinion the following has no validity?:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883483/
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, It's Dr. C. Board certified Ob-gyne with 30 years of experience and special interest in HPV infections and cervical disease. I believe this is a gray area with different individuals handling the virus in different ways depending on small differences in immune function. We don't yet have a full understanding of the various ways this virus behaves but can speak in generalities that most people completely clear the virus although it appears that a small percentage have the virus undetectable by any means only to have it reimerge decades later as the immune system weakens with aging. Getting to your original question, I don't think that there is a clear answer to that question. Naturally acquired HPV antibody response appears to be different than vaccine acquired HPV response in that in a person who has never had previous exposure, vaccine antibody response does provide excellent immunity that seems long lasting. While naturally acquired immune response can wane to the point that antibodies become undetectable. Whether that individual is susceptible to reinfection with the same strain is not clear. While we've learned a huge amount about the pathophysiology of HPV since the 1960's (thanks in large part to Henrietta Lacks - http://rebeccaskloot.com/the-immortal-life/), there are still many unanswered questions. The behavior of the virus seems strongly modulated by small differences in individual immune system functioning. I hope this was helpful.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience: 30 yrs experience, awarding winning educator
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Very thank you! : ]

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