STDs and HPV: How Long Can It Stay Dormant?

Patient: I want to know how long an STD can stay dormant. I have been married for 7 years and have only been with my husband since we met. I went to the doctor today and was told I have a virus in my mouth that could be transmitted through oral sex. I am being tested for all STDs but won’t know results for a week. If it’s HPV, how long can that stay dormant? Trying not to blame husband for cheating.

Doctor: Most STDs can stay dormant for a very long time. I believe there have been no studies on this because most (if not all) STDs have asymptomatic states. Once a person starts to get sexually active, the possibility of acquiring STDs is always there. Barrier contraception is never a 100% proof for STD protection. A lot of individuals harbour organisms that can cause STDs with no symptoms at all but are transmitting it to others. Being asymptomatic (or dormant) for more than 7, perhaps 10 years is possible. It is also possible that you already had that virus a very long time ago (probably even way before you got married) and it has manifested symptoms just now. HPV is the virus that causes genital warts. This is also the same virus that can cause warts anywhere else in the body e.g. foot, hands, throat, etc. This virus is contained in the superficial squamous cells. There are numerous parts of the body lined w/ squamous cells: skin, genitalia, larynx, mouth, etc. Easy shedding of the superficial squamous cells can transmit the virus; examples are mere direct skin to skin contact and sexual contact. Kissing and a mere handshake can also transmit the HPV virus. If the result will turn out to be HPV, you may ask your doctor if you can still benefit from the HPV vaccine. Only 3 shots are needed for lifetime protection. I do hope I have enlightened you in some way. I wish you all the best and take care always.You better have your baby checked by a paediatrician promptly. Babies are especially prone to infection. The greenish yellow discharges might not be caused by the fly but something else. Urgent intervention should be given to avoid serious consequences.