Presence of HPV in later life may represent reactivation, not reinfection

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8517
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

Recurrent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in women seen around the time of menopause may represent the reactivation of an old infection acquired decades earlier, rather than a new exposure, says a new study.1

Epidemiological studies worldwide have found two peaks of HPV infection in women. The first occurs a few years after sexual debut, followed by clearance of the infection in a significant proportion of women. The incidence during this peak correlates with the number of sexual partners.

The second peak occurs …

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