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Many researchers and clinicians do believe “subclinical” HPV (virus may be in skin cells but no lesions are present) is less likely to be transmitted than when warts or cell changes are detected, probably due to a reduced viral load, and subsequently think it is reasonable to say the chances of transmitting virus years after the last clinical episode (where lesions were detected) will become increasingly remote over time.
This is not easy to prove and the lack of a solid “yes or no” answer is frustrating.
We regularly receive questions about what to tell either a current or future sex partner about HPV, for example.
Current partners are likely to share HPV, but this may be difficult to prove.
Testing options for HPV are limited and most cases are never diagnosed.
Some cases may persist for years and result in recurrent lesions, but this is not the norm.
The bottom line is that most who have genital HPV DNA detected in research studies eventually test negative, often within a year or two.