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Some HPV questions
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Some HPV questions

This morning I just found a very, very tiny wart on my right groin. I am not sure for how long it was there.

I manage to see my urologist later on and he examined me, and applied acid on the wart. He saw no more visible warts, but asked for a peniscopy with biopsy, which I'll be submitted next week.

Questions:

1) Is that possible to have HPV only in the groin area but not on the penis?

2) I had a complete STD screening in 2007. Fortunately, everything came back negative on that occasion. Not tested ever since, but all my sex encounters following 2007 (5 or 6 women, I guess) were with condoms (and I also have used condoms in my relationships before 2007 too).  Do I need to get tested again?

3) I have visited several other serious web sites, and the perspectives of full cure have been conflicting: some sources say "yes, the patient will be cured if he stick to a proper treatment" whereas others deny this assertion, saying that even with the warts gone there will be no definitive cure. In which assertion should I believe?

4) Some sources say that sub-clinical HPV lesions are untreatable. Is that true?

5) Assuming that I have those sub-clinical lesions (still need to do the test), what are the risks to my girlfriend considering non protected future sexual intercourse aiming pregnancy? And how about unprotected oral sex?

6) The HPV viruses that cause genital warts are the same that would cause cervix and penile cancers?

7) How long we need to wait until recommence our sexual intercourses?

8) Is that possible to just have an ordinary (i.e. non sexually transmitted) warts on the groin?

9) Assuming again that I really have sexually-transmitted HPV, would the use of female condom (which partially covers the female groin area) be more effecting in preventing the transmission of the virus that the ordinary male condom?

10) Is that possible that I would have caught the virus years ago but the warts only appeared now?
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Hello,
Thank you fro your post and welcome to our forum.  I will try to answer all your questions here below:

1) Is that possible to have HPV only in the groin area but not on the penis? YES, IT IS.  HPV IS FREQUENTLY TRANSMITTED TO THE AREAS NOT COVERED BY THE CONDOM.

2) I had a complete STD screening in 2007. Fortunately, everything came back negative on that occasion. Not tested ever since, but all my sex encounters following 2007 (5 or 6 women, I guess) were with condoms (and I also have used condoms in my relationships before 2007 too).  Do I need to get tested again? IF CONDOMS HAVE REAMINED IN PLACE AND INTACT, THERE WOULD BE NO NEED TO GET TESTED.  HPV IS NOT TESTED ROUTINELY AND IN ABSENCE OF SYMPTOMS, HPV TESTS ARE NOT RELIABLE IN MEN.

3) I have visited several other serious web sites, and the perspectives of full cure have been conflicting: some sources say "yes, the patient will be cured if he stick to a proper treatment" whereas others deny this assertion, saying that even with the warts gone there will be no definitive cure. In which assertion should I believe? TREATING THE WARTS DOES NOT ERRADICATE THE VIRUS.  HOWEVER MOST PEOPLE WITH A GOOD IMMUNE SYSTEM WOULD GET RID OF HPV IN A PERIOD OF TIME BETWEEN 18 MONTHS AND 3 YEARS.

4) Some sources say that sub-clinical HPV lesions are untreatable. Is that true? I AM NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN BY SUBCLINICAL IN THIS CASE. IF THERE ARE NO LESIONS, THERE IS NOTHING TO TREAT.  ALL HPV ABNORMALITIES WOULD EVENTUALLY BE VISIBLE, AND HENCE TREATABLE.

5) Assuming that I have those sub-clinical lesions (still need to do the test), what are the risks to my girlfriend considering non protected future sexual intercourse aiming pregnancy? And how about unprotected oral sex? THIS ALL DEPENDS ON THE STRAIN OF HPV: HIGH RISK HPVs DO NOT USUALLY CAUSE ANY SYMPTOMS IN MEN, MAIN CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS RE. CERVICAL CANCER ARE IN WOMEN AND ALL SEXUALLY ACTIVE WOMEN SHOULD GET REGULAR SMEAR TESTS ANYWAY.  PROVIDED THIS IS THE CASE, THERE WOULD BE NO IMPLICATIONS REGARDING PREGNANCY.  LOW RISK HPVs CAN CAUSE GENITAL WARTS, WHICH ARE HARMLESS AND CAN BE TREATED.  THERE IS A LINK BETWEEN ORAL SEX AND HPV POSSIBLY CAUSING MOUTH AND THROAT CANCERS; HOWEVER I BELEIVE THAT SMOKING, ALCOHOL, GENETIC PREDISPOSITION, ETC ARE FAR MUCH MORE IMPORTANT FACTORS.  I AM AFRAID THAT THERE IS NOTHING THAT WE COULD DO IN THIS CASE, OTHER THAN ALWAYS BE AWARE OF POSSIBLE LESIONS IN THE MOUTH.

6) The HPV viruses that cause genital warts are the same that would cause cervix and penile cancers? NO, THERE ARE DIFFERENT STRAINS: HIGH AND LOW RISK.

7) How long we need to wait until recommence our sexual intercourses?
PROVIDED THAT THE WART HAS BEEN TREATED AND THERE HAS BEEN NO RECURRENCE, THERE IS NO CONTRAINDICATION FOR NOT RESUMING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.  AFTER ALL, IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT YOUR GIRLFRIEND HAS ALREADY THE STRAIN OF HPV ANYWAY.  HPV IS VERY COMMON.  PROVIDED THAT SHE GETS REGULAR PAP SMEAR TESTS, AND GETS TREATED FOR WARTS IF SHE GETS THEM, THERE WOULD BE NO REASON TO BE CONCERNED.

8) Is that possible to just have an ordinary (i.e. non sexually transmitted) warts on the groin? YES, INDEED.

9) Assuming again that I really have sexually-transmitted HPV, would the use of female condom (which partially covers the female groin area) be more effecting in preventing the transmission of the virus that the ordinary male condom? THAT MIGHT BE THE CASE.  HOWEVER THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT.

10) Is that possible that I would have caught the virus years ago but the warts only appeared now? YES, IT IS POSSIBLE.

Best wishes,
Dr José
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2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Dr José,

Thank you for your answers.

From what I read, HPV is a fact of life and there is not much to do about this other than keep an eye on the symptoms and get those treated as soon as warts or abnormal pap smear show up, right?

But, supposing that the peniscopy next week came back negative, as well as the biopsy, should I ask for any other test (PCR, hybrid catch)?

Best,

Singleguy
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