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Genital wart / HPV tests
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Genital wart / HPV tests

A former girlfriend of mine (who I dated very briefly two
years ago, always using condoms) told me she has
HPV and genital warts.  For a variety of reasons
I think it's fairly unlikely that she got HPV from me, but I'm
worried that she may have passed it on to me.

I've never had any visible sign of genital warts, but
I'd like to determine, as best possible, whether I have HPV.
This is particularly important since
my current girlfriend and I are considering transitioning
from sex with condoms to sex without condoms.  
My current girlfriend and I both agree that I should do
everything possible to determine whether I have HPV
before we have sex w/o condoms.  I've
gotten a variety of STD tests at the
local public health department and tested clean on all
of the them.  However, the health dept doesn't test for HPV.

I have a few questions:
1.  From what I've heard, it's possible to have
a subclinical HPV infection that doesn't produce any
visible warts.  Is there a blood test or biopsy that
can be used to detect the disease?  If so, what is the
precise name of this procedure?
2.  Is it possible to get HPV by performing unprotected oral
sex on someone?  (I'm worried that I could have contracted it
this way).
3.  How effective are condoms in preventing HPV transmission?
4.  What is the relevant specialist MD to see if I think
I may have HPV?  A dermatologist?  urologist? GP?

Thanks for your advice,
S173

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1.  That is correct.  There is no test which will determine the presence of HPV if there is nothing visible.  The vinegar (acteic acid) test is not reliable, because it "lights up" many things which aren't HPV.
2. It may be possible, but is rare (one rarely sees oral warts.)  In any case, HPV doesn't travel from one's mouth to one's genitals.
3. No one knows.
4. A dermatologist.

The fact that your former girlfriend has warts now doesn't tell you much.  If you never had a visible wart (and in a male you'd know if you had), there seems little cause for concern.  There may be an irreducible level of doubt which you may need to deal with.  A visit to a dermatologist may help reassure you.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
2 Comments
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1   my daughter who is 40yrs old had genital warts. can she get rid of them for good.
2 what are the chances of warts becoming cancer?
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