Medical Q&As

HPV - present for how long?

Is there any way of telling how long HPV warts have been present without making themselves apparent?

HPV (human papilloma virus) is the name for the family of viruses that give rise to genital warts. There is no way of knowing how long it has been since a person acquired the virus because the virus can remain latent in the body for weeks, months, years or even a lifetime. In other words the virus can be present without producing warts. Many people with HPV are not aware that they have the virus because they donít have warts or any other symptoms that could alert them to that fact. That is the reason why HPV is so widespread.