hpv and pap smear
Nov 13, 2002
I'm not sure if you received my question. I understand that pap smear is one way of detecting HPV (genital warts). How soon after exposure should I get a pap smear - a week, a month, etc? Is there a waiting period like HIV testing? Thanks. Worried
Response from Mr. Kull
It's difficult to say. It usually takes two to three weeks for warts associated to HPV infection to develop, but this may or may not be relevant to you. Exposure doesn't necessarily mean infection, infection does not necessarily mean that you will experience symptoms right away (or ever), nor does it mean that it will cause abnormal cellular changes of the cervix. There are many different types of HPV out there and not everyone will have the same response to exposure to HPV.
If you have had an exposure to someone who has active genital lesions, talk with your doctor. Otherwise, getting an annual pap smear is sufficient for sexually active women.
See HPV for more info.
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