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Do you have HPV for life?

Page last updated 28 April 2020

It can take many years for the HPV virus to become active, and when it does, it usually only lasts a short time. In most cases, the infection is cleared by the body in around 1-2 years. 

Most HPV infections clear up on their own and don’t cause any problems. Researchers now think that when the HPV clears up, it can remain inactive in your body unless your immune system is later compromised in some way, in which case, the HPV may become active again. When the HPV is inactive, it appears that it is not passed on to a partner. 

Sources & Citations

1. Australian Government. Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook – Rubella. Available at: (accessed 19 March 2020).

2. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Rubella complications. Available at: (accessed 19 March 2020).

4. Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth. Rubella (German Measles). Available at: (accessed 19 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0131(1) - Date of preparation April 2020