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Genital Warts Immunity-- Is the virus eliminated or is it just hiding?
Apr 5, 2003

I searched previous messages on this site and read that HPV immunity can occur in individuals. This is when the immune system recognizes the virus and eliminates the warts from the body.

I am confused about this though. Does that mean that the individual will no longer have symptoms, but the HPV DNA is still present in their cells? Or, does it mean that the virus has been completely eliminated from the body and the person is no longer contagious or seceptible to that strain?

I have read that common warts in children usually go away on their own over a period of a couple months to years. Do these children still have HPV DNA in their skin, or are they completely rid of the virus?

Response from Dr. Dezube

The majority of folks who get HPV infected (human papilloma virus, wart virus) will actually ELIMINATE the virus completely from the body. These studies were performed in college woman in which it was shown that many got HPV infected and then cleared the infection. However, some folks will just suppress the virus so that the HPV genes are still in the cell. For others, the HPV will actively replicate. So many scenarios are possible. HIV-positive patients are more likely NOT to eliminate the HPV virus from their bodies, when compared to HIV-negative folks.


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