STDs Expert Forum
How Long Should I Wait
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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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How Long Should I Wait

I was diagnosed with genital warts in December 2005.  After the first outbreak (maybe 3 warts total), I haven't had another outbreak.  I've been wart-free for almost two years.  All my pap smears have also been normal.  What is your opinion about informing potential future partners about the HPV?  I'd love to not tell people, but I want to do the right thing.   Thank you.    
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Congratulations on a responsible attitude. You're good to go!

There are no hard and fast rules, but most experts would agree you have no obligation to raise the issue with future partners.  The average duration until low-risk (wart-causing) HPV infection, even without treatment, is 6 months and few people have infection that persists longer than a year.  My standard advice to clinic patients with warts is that infectiousness is markedly reduced once the warts are treated and gone and that they can be pretty much certain the problem is gone forever if they don't have recurrent warts within 6 months.  You're well beyond those limits.  Some people disagree, based on the possibility that any HPV infection has an indefinite potential for recurrence.  But the chance clearly is too low to worry about.  You can consider yourself cured.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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Thank you very much!  This is good news.  I will proceed with caution.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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