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HIV AND HPV
Sep 30, 2009

HI MY CD4 COUNT IS 218 AND IM UNDETECTABLE. I HAVE RECENTLY HAD A ABNORMAL PAP SMEAR FOR THE THIRD TIME SINCE BEING DIAGNOSED THREE YEARS AGO.I HAD TWO LEEP PROCEDURES. IS THERE ANY LINK BETWEEN THE HIV AND HPV? IS THE REASON WHY MY BODY CANT FIGHT THE HPV BECAUSE IM HIV POSITIVE?

Response from Dr. McGowan

I am glad that you have been able to keep your virus undetectable, that will help you build up your immune system against infections like HPV.

There is definitely a link between HIV and HPV. HPV is an "opportunistic" infection. Which means that it is a virus that causes an infection that can last for many years (lifelong) and can take advantage of the imbalance in the immune system caused by HIV to grow more aggressively and cause changes in the cervix that, if not managed closely, could cause cancer. I am glad that you have been very good about following through on your treatments for the HPV. That is the best way to stay on top of it and not let it ever get a chance to form cancer.

Best,

Joe



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