Greetings all, little bit of background and info.
I recently began a relationship with my girlfriend (me 27, her 28 ) to which she disclosed she has high risk HPV, I believe the 16/18 strains. Sadly she developed cervical cancer from it, but is now thankfully cancer free. We haven't had intercourse yet, in any form. However we've had a few spirited make out sessions and hand-genital contact ( me to her ) so my first question is; Can HPV be spread by those types of contact? The online research I've read doesn't seem to agree if HPV can be spread by kissing, or by genital contact with intact skin or not.( Further clarification, she doesn't have the strains that cause warts)
I've also read that HPV is usually "cleared" by the immune system, but I've yet so come across a definitive answer as to if this is simply the disease laying dormant, or the immune system suppressing it. I've also read that the disease is for life, regardless of symptoms or infection status with regards to cellular change.
How common is HPV truly? From what I've read this is a very common occurrence bordering the common cold for infection rates. But those statistics, like most of the internet vary from source to source.
Any additional information or questions I should ask myself are welcomed.
(I have read the CDC information on HPV as well as their cited research. However a-lot of it isn't defined, such as skin-skin contact. Is high risk HPV transmitted purely by touching uninfected skin to infected skin ?)
Cheers and have a good day.