HPV unfortunately does NOT go away. However, a person can have HPV and never get a wart again. Doesn't mean you don't have it anymore, but it does mean it's less likely to transmit and/or make you ill.
In terms of cervical cancer, no, having HPV does NOT mean you will get cervical cancer. The important thing is that you be sure from now on to get your annual GYN exam and pap smear on time every year without fail. That way, your doc can be on the lookout for warning signs.
You also don't have to be celibate for the rest of your life unless you want to. But what you do have to do now is learn to have sex sfaely, which means not just using condoms for intercourse and oral sex, but dams for oral sex, AND regular STD screens for yourself AND your partners. But this is what everyone should be doing anyway, STI or no. And to make you feel a little better, condoms during intercourse are only so effective against genital warts because a condom does not cover the entire genital area. So, even if you use condoms every time without fail perfectly, you could still end up with HPV.
So, breathe easy. No, it isn't fun, but it is manageable. For more info on HPV -- which is, btw, the most common STI around these days, so you're hardly alone -- check this out: http://www.scarleteen.com/infection/hpv_2.html
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen
My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson
[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 11-05-2001).]