Most women who are diagnosed with HPV are very upset and worried because it is a sexually transmitted disease. It must, however, be put into perspective that this is an incredibly common infection and is not a marker for sexual promiscuity or unsafe sex. In some studies on college campuses, 8 out of 10 young women have HPV. It almost behaves as a marker for having had sex.
Most women clear the virus on their own in a year or two via their own immune system. Very few women will develop warts or precancers or cancers of the cervix. That said, once you have been diagnosed with HPV, more gyn vigilance is necessary. Testing for other STDs (HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphillis, gonorrhea and chlamydia) should be done, safe sex practices and condom use should be encouraged, and if the pap smear is abnormal, appropriate gyn follow up should ensue, and in most cases, an office test called a colposcopy should be done.