Hey Doc! Yesterday I was diagnosed with genital warts. I got tested conclusively for HIV after my last "unprotected anal exposure" (I'm a gay man) but in the interim, I may have engaged in mutual masturbation and receiving oral.
I dont know how long i've had the warts for, so my question is.. If anyone else's semen/fluids came into contact with my warts (despite there being no penetrative sex) can I get HIV?
Are they considered an entry point?
After this year, I really didn't want to get back into the testing protocols and getting stressed about it, so I'm okay with not testing about this unless you feel I should.
Thank you so much in advance.
Many STDs are associated with an increased risk of HIV if exposed: herpes (only if due to HSV-2), gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, chlamydia, trichomonas. However, HPV and genital warts have not been direclty linked. Some studies suggest a slight incrased risk but most do not. If there is any elevated risk, it is small.
As I said in one of your several past visits to this and other forums, "if a bare penis (no condom) does not enter another person's vagina, rectum, or (maybe very rarely) mouth, there is no risk of HIV." Warts or not, you can remain confident that any exposure that doesn't involve penetration will be risk free. We also spoke in the past about talking to your partners about HIV, even when safe sex is planned -- and avoiding contact with those who are positive (and not on effective ART), don't know, or seem evasive about it. If you are doing so, and if you avoid penetration and/or use condoms, you can expect to remain free of HIV.
I agree with your apparent decision to not worry about HIV testing at this time. I would encourage you to just plan on routine testing for HIV and common STDs from time to time, like once a year.
The biological reason that HPV and warts don't seem to increase HIV risk have not been studied. All we know is that people with genital HPV don't seem to be at increased risk. But most likely there would be little or no penetration of infected secretions through an intact wart on dry skin. I would have more concern (in theory) with moist warts, e.g. under the foreskin, or with anal warts.
Thank you for the information. I suppose I am just confused because i have received mixed information on this. So to put it all to rest, do you think that I should be concerned with this? I used to think that as long as I wasn't having anal sex, or performing oral, then I could consider myself safe. Any guidance would be great.
We don't expect much of questioners, but you do expect them to read our replies! It is exactly correct that "as long as I wasn't having anal sex, or performing oral, then I could consider myself safe". Nothing I have said in this thread changes that. If you'll just remember it, you really shouldn't ever have to ask another question about sexual safety in regard to HIV.
That will end this thread. Do your best to move on.
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