Nov 7, 2001
Hi, My wife recently had a second pap smear done after a cryogen freezing process didn't get rid of the cells. I've heard that these abnormal cells could be the result of HIV. However, the last time she had sex with anyone else was 5 years ago. We've been married for 8 months and I haven't noticed any rashes or anything wierd about me either. I did go to the doctor for tightness in my chest but this doesn't seem like a symptom of HIV. My wife doesn't seem to have any other strange symptoms either just this cervical dysplasia. The only thing that scared me was the doctor calling this a virus that's causing this problem. I felt that he would have recommended she getting an HIV test if he thought it was necessary. I just want a 'second opinion'. I was tested for HIV before we were married and I was negative. Just a little scared right now. Thanks
| Response from Mr. Kull
If your wife thinks that she might be at risk for HIV infection, it is important that you discuss the possibility of her getting tested. It is important to rely on the advice of doctors, but it may not be wise to put all of your faith and trust in their actions. In other words, don't wait for the doctor to tell her to get HIV tested. Professionals make mistakes and it's important to be active in your healthcare.
It's highly likely that HIV is not the virus causing the abnormal pap. HPV, the virus that causes genital warts, could be one cause. In cases like this, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to get an exact answer. The treatment she received suggests the cause (see http://thebody.com/safesex/stdbasics.html#hpv).
Do you and your wife have a thorough understanding of what the doctor's opinion is? If not, can she or the both of you sit down with the doctor and learn more details about what is going on? If HPV is the probable cause, can the doctor provide any guidance in terms of risk reduction during sexual contact? Answers to these questions from her doctor could provide clearer direction and may help to reduce your anxiety.
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