It appeared on yesterdays's Newspaper China Times that a gynecologist got the HPV virus while he was doing the laser to a patient with Condyloma because he inhaled the virus that pervaded in the air with the smoke of laser.
This makes me perplexed because I had read before that HPV is infected sexually for 90% of its cases. However, lately I have heard of friends who got the infection in the dentist's.
My questions are:
1) Apart from sexual transmission, is there a scientific proof of other transmissions like that of being infected in the dentist's? Up to the moment, I have heard of more than 5 people being infected while going to the dentist's. Is this possible?
2) Can this disease be infected while eating out? For example, eating in a restaurant and use the plates of the restaurants?
3) How can we test the infection of the HPV? There are methods of testing like pap smears, but this is just for women. And there are other methods such as testing the DNA. Which is the best method? and what are the differences?
4) Is there any method of testing for men? I have read that there is no method to test men. But what if men got this infection? Is there a way to know the index for men and to know the type of HPV?
5) Can the viruses be tested from the urine and saliva? There is a center here in Taiwan that tests the virus by means of urine and saliva. Is this possible? And are the results credible?
5) Many of the big hospitals here test the virus and got negative reactions, but if these people go to the centers that are in charge of STD, the tests often prove the infection of HPV. This does not happen once. For example, I suggested a friend of mine from America to have the test in a center, she told me that she was o.k. because she did tests in Houston several times in case she might have any STD owing to her husband. And the results of her tests apparently showed she had no disease at all. But because I have read some information on HPV and have heard the different results from people that got the tests from centers and hopitals, so I suggested her to have another test in the centers that specialize in the HPV tests. In brief, the result is that this lady was comfirmed with the infection of HPV. But my question is why the tests from the big hospitals do not show the infection of HPV and the tests of the centers show the infection of the virus? Why is that difference?
6) Is there any latest news on the reseach of the HPV virus?
Pls help me find out a quick answer to these questions!!
Yes, I believe you can most certainly get HPV without sexual contact. There is another thread on this board about it. Check it out.
Also, don't worry too much about it... as hard as it is to deal with, sickness is a part of life, and we're all going to die one day. The stress hormones from worrying too much aren't going to help. Take care.
I haven't really read anything of the sort saying that HPV can be transmitted in an airborne sense or at the dentist's. I do know that it is usually transmitted genitally via skin-to-skin contact. Also, there is currently no test for men to see if they have HPV but I believe researchers are working on that now. Women, as you know, can be tested through HPV DNA typing for low and high-risk strains.
Also, even if a woman tests negative for HPV, it can still mean she has it but it is dormant in her body. HPV can be dormant for many years and then flare up at any given time, mostly if the body's immune system is down.
I wouldn't worry too much about HPV, though. It is quite inevitable that most sexually active people will get some kind of HPV in their lifetime so stressing over it won't help. And since we can't test men for it, there really is no way to prevent yourself against.
The best way, as a woman, to be proactive about your health is to get your annual checkups/pap smears because this will tell you if there are any pre-cancerous changes going on on your cervix (caused by high-risk strains). Also, some people will get warts from the low-risk strains but those are easily treated in a doctor's office and do not lead to cancer.
Try not to fret and stress too much about HPV. It is the most common STD out there and more than 80% of the sexually active population will get one or more strains of it in their lifetimes. Some people will have HPV and never know it because it'll never exhibit any physical symptoms. So don't worry about it-- keep healthy, visit your doctor annually,boost your immune system and you should be fine.
Thank you very much for your reply. I've been worried about it, since many of my girl friends are infected and I am worried if it can be transmitted by inanimate things or fomites.
The HPV DNA test that FDA has approved seems to be more sensitive than PCR. However, today in the newspaper, I 've found that there is another alternative for the diagnosis, which is the MassArray and AttoSense TM. According to the news, this new test shall be approved in 2009. I hope this will be a more sensitive testing for the virus.
HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the strains that most of the people know. And they are classified as HR strains. However, the new strains that are coming up, since there are not enough research and study, we still don't know if they are even more dangerous than these two.
There have been ongoing studied on the different strains for years. That's how they came up with those 2 as having the most likely beneficial results if they were the two the vaccine is made for. There are more deadly strains of HPV out there, but they are very very rare. It's a matter of numbers. The vaccine is very expensive so it was made to protect AS MANY people as possible.
I know it sounds cold, but there is no way any company or government is going to make a vaccine for millions of people so that it will prevent 10 cases. They're looking to prevent hundreds of thousands of cases.
As far as your original questions, I think it's silly for people to be looking around for possible sources of exposure (the dentist? come on). If the virus is spread from physical contact, then potentially ANYONE you touch could be the source. Sexual transmission is given as the most likely source because sexual activity involves (hopefully) more phycal contact that any other non-sexual activity (like shaking hands). As for scientific proof, I can't cite any, but I know of a number of children with warts on their hands and feet (yes, that's HPV too, so it counts) who didn't get it from sexual activity (or going to the dentist).
It is unlikely you could get it from the dishes or utensils in a restaurant. Being worried about that would border on paranoia.
It sounds to me like you are unreasonably worried about this virus and that maybe you should try to relax a bit.
Thank you for the answer. I was quite worried, because I heard people said that they got the virus from fomites and also, some of the articles in the newpaper are telling you the large amount of people being infected per year and the increase in number yearly. Also, I read an article from China Times, that a gynecologist got the HPV in his throat bcs he inhaled the virus that was pervading in the air while he was doing the laser to a HPV infected patient. This implies that HPV is very common and very easily to be infected, so my focus is, if this virus is so easy to be infected, is there a way to prevent it?
I hope these responses have helped you. I definitely agree with Thisby, though-- you *really* must relax about this! We are not talking about HIV or AIDS here so the gravity of the situation is incomparable to those STDs.
You must face the basic facts: HPV is prolific, it is everywhere, and many doctors consider it the marker for someone who is sexually active. If 80% or more of sexually active adults around the world have it, then chances are you will be exposed to it in your lifetime.
The only way to avoid getting HPV would be to be completely celibate. That is the only guarantee against it. Other then that, the only other way would be if you were a virgin and you married a virgin (now how common is that scenario? not at all!).
HPV is not very serious, unless a woman has high-risk HPV and doesn't get her annual checkups. Even then, it can take up to 10 years for a woman to develop invasive cervical cancer.
If you are as worried about HPV as you seem to be, the best way to protect yourself would be to get the vaccine and keep up with your regular gynecological visits.
These stories about getting HPV at the dentist's, etc, seem just to be media sensationalism, I don't buy that story at all.
So relax and live your life as you normally do-- stressing over this is really a moot point. You are not going to get HPV by sharing utensils with your friends who have it, so really, try and calm down about it.
By the way, unless you're a virgin now, how do you know that you don't have it already? Remember you can still have HPV and have it show up negative on a DNA test (it can be dormant at the time of the test). Like I said, relax about HPV and keeping on top of your health with your annual visit is the only way to protect your health against the ramifications of HPV. Take care!