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HPV - Mouth and Eyes
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HPV - Mouth and Eyes

I believe I may be infected with the strain of HPV which causes genital warts. I will be going to the doctor for an official diagnosis in the coming days, however, I have a few questions regarding this:
1) Prior to my knowledge of this infection, I had engaged in oral sex with my ex-boyfriend. What is the likelihood that I may develop warts in the mouth?
2) I have read that many HPV infections "clear" themselves (that is becomes undetectable) in 8-24 months. Is this also the case for the strains that cause Genital Warts? I am a healthy female with no autoimmune deficiencies.
3) I wear contact lenses. If I do, in fact, have genital warts, what is the likelihood that I can transfer this infection to my eyes?
4) If both my partners and I had always consistently & correctly used condoms, what is the likelihood this could be genital warts? I've read more recent research that states condoms provide more protection than once thought.
Thank you.
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You don't say why you believe you "may be infected" with a wart-causing type of HPV.  Do you have warts? A partner with warts?

1) This has been asked before; search this forum's threads and archives for other discussions.  Oral exposure to HPV obviously is common, yet oral warts are rare.  The virus apparently doesn't "like" oral tissues.  Infection sometimes occurs, but usually remains asymptomatic.  There is no test for asymptomatic oral infection.  Bottom line:  Don't worry about it.

2) Yes, all genital HPV infections, whether with warts or other virus types, typically clear up spontaneously in several months; usually it's faster than 24 months.

3) In 35 years in the STD business, I have never seen a case of genital warts transmitted to the eyes, nor have I ever heard such a report by other providers.  Don't worry about this.

4) Yes, condoms are more effective against HPV than once thought.  I address exactly your question, the long term efficacy of warts against HPV, in the thread "infection risk, future obligations" just a couple of days ago (April 23).  Take a look at it.

I hope this helps.  Good luck--  HHH, MD
8 Comments
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I have an unsual growth in the perianal area which looks keratotic. It is neither white nor skin colored, but more of a tan/grey/brown color. I have been reading about genital warts and a differential diagnosis, so I am hopeful that this may be nothing more than seborrheic keratosis or melanocytic nevi. However, the more I read on genital warts, the more I believe I have the symtoms (symptoms). (i.e. student's disease; it did not itch until I read they could and it doesn not itch unless I think about it). I have contacted my only 2 sexual partners and have asked both to check the base of the penis, scrotum and surrounding area, and neither has found anything unusual. However, I have also read that you can contract the virus from normal looking tissue. Again, I will not know until I visit my OB/GYN.
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I should also note that I had not paid particular attention to this area until I discovered this so I do not know if this has been there for a long time or if its a new growth.
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I'm not sure how condom use will help the transmission of HPV more than once thought, I had warts not on my penis or shaft, but near the base and around the thighs, a condom wouldn't protect that area, and if there is infected tissue there then I would assume it would transfer over during heavy grinding during sexual intercourse.  But I guess it's better to get warts outside of your vagina then inside :\
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239123_tn?1267651214
Ah, you're a medical (or other health sciences) student.  You are right to be concerned; genital warts undoubtedly are the most common causes of perianal keratotic growths.  But you also are right to get it checked out by a provider before making too many assumptions.

Most penile warts are on the shaft, glans (glands), corona, or foreskin--not the base and less frequently still on the scrotum.  (This also addresses ChicShane's follow-up comment/question.)  But presumably your partners would have noticed lesions in those locations.  It also is true that genital infection with the wart-causing HPV types (primarily HPV-6 and 11) can be asymptomatic.

HHH, MD
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Thank you, Dr. H. One more question: Can you please tell me what the risk of developing RRP is if this is a wart? Is RRP more commonly seen in people with some kind of autoimmune deficiency, or do you think genetics might play a part in this? Thank you!
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239123_tn?1267651214
RRP is rare in adults, too infrequent to have any data to answer your question. In 30 years in the STD business, I have never seen a patient with genital warts who later developed RRP.  Its occurrence generally has nothing to do with immunodedeficiency, and I am not aware of any studies of genetic susceptibility.

HHH, MD
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I'd just like to say thanks HHH, you are a real life saver for a lot of people.  

I don't know if this was answered in this thread yet, but I dont think so:

Is HPV still transmittable when there are no warts present?  Or is it the warts that transmit the virus?  

This is like concern #1 for me at the moment...

-Thanks-

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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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