You have HPV – Now what?
You’ve just been diagnosed with HPV…
You visit your OB-GYN for your regular pap smear and they call you with the news you have HPV – the most widespread sexually transmitted virus in the country. Your doctor will also let you know if the type of HPV found (there are 150 types) is high-risk or low-risk. Low-risk HPVs can cause genital warts that are asymptomatic and typically resolve on their own.
High-risk HPVs can be potentially associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer. If you have a high-risk HPV you can feel upset and anxious. Do you need to be? Over 90% of the time, no.
HPV is rampant. 80% of young women will become infected within 18 months of becoming sexually active, and over 42% of women aged 14-59 are infected with one (if not more) of the various HPVs. Incidence was highest among 20-24 year old women – 54%!
Here’s the reason I’m writing this article. With a diagnosis of HPV, one or more of the following scenarios may occur:
- You may be asked if you have a new sexual partner despite a happy marriage or stable relationship with zero new partners.
- You may be encouraged to have an invasive procedure called a colposcopy which is basically a biopsy of your cervix, the opening to your uterus.
- If you have young girls (or even boys) you will likely be encouraged to vaccinate them against HPV so “they will never have this problem”.
I disagree with all the above and this is why:
- It’s important to know viruses can lie latent for weeks, months and even many years before becoming active – both in men and women.
Women can, therefore, contract the infection from their partner of longstanding duration without any unfaithfulness occurring. I can’t tell you how many women have called me in tears after their gynecologist’s office made them feel as if they, or their partner, were somehow cheating due to the newly found HPV infection.
The virus typically creates no symptoms, or a woman or man may notice the appearance of warts.
Women are diagnosed during their regular pelvic exam via a pap smear. There is no test for men. Men should be aware however that genital warts likely mean an infection.
- Gynecologist offices frequently recommend an invasive colposcopy upon discovering any evidence of high-risk HPV. The cost of the procedure is in the neighborhood of $500, with up to $300 in laboratory fees. Your health is priceless, so I’m not begrudging the cost, but I do take issue with this fact:
90% of infections resolve on their own within 2 years. In the highest risk group of young women (ages 13 to 24 years), 38% of the infections resolved after one year, 63% after two years and 68% after three years.
While the risk of cervical cancer is a real one, it’s certainly not a fast one. You have plenty of time to assess if your body will heal itself – something it’s very adept at.
Let’s look at the nature of a virus. As I stated earlier, viruses can be present, dormant for years and years. What “activates” them? A weakened immune system. What de-activates them? A strong immune system.
You can see where I’m going and how we treat HPV – we look for every way we can to strengthen your immune system. If we remove what is stressing or taxing your immune system it will get strong and regain the upper hand on the virus. We see it time and time again.
There are potential side effects to the invasive biopsy of the cervix and some consider that women of child-bearing age who would like to conceive, may potentially have problems with pregnancy after such a procedure.
Of course, the diagnosis is initially scary, but once you look at the facts you’ll see there is time to truly get to the root cause and allow your body to resolve the infection on its own – always the best way.
- And now we get to the area that gets me most incensed – the vaccines for HPV. Have you seen the commercial where two young adults, male and female, who presumably both have cancer, asking their parents why they didn’t vaccinate them so they wouldn’t have cancer. There’s nothing like guilting parents to ensure they will run out and vaccinate their young children. But here’s the problem…
According to a review article in Autoimmunity Reviews, entitled “On the relationship between human papilloma virus vaccine and autoimmune disease”, since the vaccine was introduced in 2006 there have been numerous reports of vaccine-induced harm associated with it. Specifically, several cases of autoimmune diseases have been reported.
The specific diseases potentially linked to the vaccine include:
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and other demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS)
- Primary ovarian failure (POF)
- IgA bullosus dermatitis
- Henoch-Schonlein purpura
- Cutaneous vasculitis
- Kikuch-Fujimoto disease
- Erythema multiforme
- Acute cerebral ataxia
- Immune thrombocytopenic purpura
How could such autoimmune diseases occur from a vaccine? In my article on Root Cause Medicine and Autoimmune Disease, I explain a concept called molecular mimicry whereby the immune system mistakes a part of your body for a foreign invader. In the case of the vaccine, an article entitled “Quantifying the possible cross-reactivity risk of an HPV16 vaccine,” published in 2009 in the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology researchers discovered the spectrum of proteins produced by the HPV16 virus, present in both the Gardasil and Cervarix HPV vaccines, carry a risk of inducing autoimmune responses due to a profound degree of matching with self of body proteins. There were over 80 different proteins in the human body for which the vaccine could create a mimicry problem, meaning a confusion of what was the vaccine and what was your body.
This groundbreaking research made the “issue” with the vaccine quite obvious and the risk for serious life-threatening autoimmune diseases all too real. The researchers summarized with this statement:
The number of viral matches make the occurrence of autoimmune cross-reactions in the human host following HPV16-based vaccination almost unavoidable.
The authors’ ultimate conclusion was this: “The decision to vaccinate with HPV vaccine is a personal decision, not one that must be made for public health. HPV is not a lethal disease in 95% of the infections; and the other 5% are detectable and treatable in the precancerous stage.”
The truth is the vaccine has been given a lot of lip service as safe when it is far from it. According to available research, to date, the vaccine has not been found to prevent a single case of death from cervical cancer, while the risks of autoimmune disease have been validated.
The vaccine has been found to prevent some pre-cancerous lesions associated with HPV infections, but researchers claim a large percentage of these infections would resolve spontaneously without the vaccine. The mechanism we reviewed earlier, involving restoring the health of your immune system, explains how these infections can be cured naturally.
A 2013 article published in Infectious Agent Cancer, entitled “HPV vaccines and cancer prevention, science versus activism”, the rationale behind worldwide HPV vaccination programs were questioned for all the reasons we’ve been discussing.
Global campaigns have claimed the following:
- HPV vaccines prevent cervical cancer and save lives.
- The vaccines have no side effects, therefore every pre-adolescent girl should receive it.
The problem with this message is facts and evidence contradict it. The vaccine has been linked to serious outcomes, including death and permanent disability. Compared to all other U.S. vaccines, Gardasil alone is associated with 61% of all serious adverse reactions – 63% of all death and 81% of permanent disability in women under the age of 30.
You can easily see my concern with these vaccinations and I would encourage anyone with a young child to avoid them despite the marketing efforts of the pharmaceutical company that manufactures them.
The good news is HPV is far from life threatening in all but the rarest of circumstances. Further, we have seen many cases of reversal by strengthening the immune system of the affected woman.
It’s true that most cases reverse themselves, but my root cause viewpoint can’t help but point out that a healthy immune system would kept the virus suppressed in the first place. If you’ve been diagnosed with HPV, it only makes sense to do everything possible to boost your immune system in order to reverse the infection as well as prevent other immune related issues, including autoimmune disease.
We can help. If you’ve been diagnosed with HPV or know someone who has, please encourage them to contact us for a Free Consultation – Call (408) 733-0400.
If you are not local to us you can still receive help, our Destination Clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally.
We help the world’s busiest people regain, retain and reclaim their health, energy and resilience.
To reclaiming your best health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC, CCN
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”