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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

Diagnosed with HPV/genital warts

So I found out last week that I have HPV (low-risk with genital warts). I'm really depressed, it feels like its the end of the world! My whole life I have practiced safe sex (except with my bf who I've been with for 2 years) and I have gotten yearly pap tests that came out normal. I really thought I was a healthy person until these bumps showed up! The doctor prescribed me Aldara cream and I just started using it last week, she said it can take up to 8-16 weeks for the warts to go away. They're small bumps though so I hope it wouldn't take that long. My question is, for anybody that has used Aldara cream before, how effective is it? I know that it's supposed to boost my immune system so that my body can fight off the infection, but besides making the warts go away, does it really get rid of HPV? My doctor said that it will, but I've looked online and some websites say that HPV can go away on its on, but some websites say HPV can't be cured...I'm confused and scared...can somebody help? If the Aldara cream doesn't work, will I have HPV forever? I just can't stand the thought of living with an STD forever, some advice???
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Where are the bumps exactly ? Inside your vagina or near the pubic area? I would suggest you to get a biopsy done to make sure its not molluscum cantagiosm
Avatar universal
It is outside the vagina, there is a cluster of 3-4 small bumps. I'm pretty sure it is warts cause it fits the description, and the doctor even said it was warts. Have you gotten treatments too?
Avatar universal
I know its hard to think of right now, but they will go away....I had them for 18 months, was cryo treated many many times and eventually they went away..

I totally get the depressed stress you are going through. Read H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D's responses on this forum. The current thinking is that the virus eventually becomes undetetable in your system.

One thing about Aldara....read up on it. I have no personal experience with it, but there have been negative reports on it. Not saying it isnt good or bad but do some more research on it.

1256465 tn?1269665299
The Aldara cream in theory, causes am immune system response. If you read the information on Aldrara, from the packaging and also the official website, the company admits that how this process works is unknown. Scientists do not fully understand how the Aldara cream actually works, all we know is from tests, that it creates a heightened immune response. Through my research, some people have said it works great while others say it produced no results. Ultimately, it seems to come down to an individual's own immune system, and they are all different. Also, Aldara is to be used over a period of 1 to 3 months to produce adequate results. Being very pricey this is not considered practical. Next time you see your doctor ask about having the warts frozen, the majority of patients and research suggests this method is not only useful, but also immediate (as the skin cells are killed as soon as the liquid nitrogen contacts the skin). However, there is no method that eliminates the virus entirely. HPV though, in the vast majority of people (especially young healthy individuals), can clear the body usually within 1 to 2 years. I have spent a lot of time trying to research what is meant by the word "cleared". After a few months (3-6) of having no symptoms a person can consider themselves cleared. This means that the likelihood of recurrence or transmission to another partner is vanishingly small. Even our most advanced testing aids cannot detect the virus. It seems that put immune system gains some mastery over HPV, and even if it does not fully obliterate the virus, and puts it in a dormant state where it is not problematic.
People get warts all over their bodies and laugh about it... it's strange how when they happen in the genital area people become depressed. I myself have become a victim of this, but i am starting to realize that we are biological creatures, and this sort of thing happens. If you have any questions or want any advice feel free to ask.

My Best,
Rainn
Avatar universal
Thank you so much everybody for taking the time to read about my problems. To Relativity, my question is by using the removal by freezing method, would the warts still come back easily? My doctor did say that it is effective for that time being, but there is a higher chance for the warts to come back because it is only killing the skin cells. She prescribed me Aldara because it can help from within by activating the body's immune system to eliminate cells that have been infected by the virus. And with this, there is a smaller chance that the warts will come back. But if Aldara does not work with me, I will take your advice and use the method of freezing. Thanks for your help and support!
1256465 tn?1269665299
The freezing method does kill the wart and may also kill some HPV cells under the wart as well. Aldara works by the immune system attacking the virus itself (by immune respnse), therefore stopping the warts. Research shows that using Aldara over an extended period of time usually prevents the recurrence of warts better than freezing, although the difference is minimal. This is especially true when you factor in few minutes it takes to have them frozen, compared to a 1-3 month period of using Aldara. However, if you can afford this method, do not mind the time it takes, and the results are adequate, then go with it. In either case, after a few months the chance of warts returning becomes smaller and smaller.

More importantly, make sure to be healthy in the meantime. Your immune system is the only defense you have against the virus and you should just want to be healthy in general anyway.

My Best,
Rainn
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