Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

Diagnosed with genital warts, help please!


I would like to start off by saying that I would like to thank anyone that is contributing to this forum. I think it is a very admirable thing to do and I am sure that this site has helped more people than I can imagine.

Now as far as the issue at hand, I am a 28 year old male, germaphobe, serial monogamist, that has been very careful when it comes to sex. I have mainly been in long relationships my whole life except the last two years where I have had sex more than the time frame up to that point but in total I have not exceed 10 partners thus far. I have worn condoms with everyone in that 2 year time frame but managed to catch genital warts. I am devastated that this happened, I have been so careful and have always feared this virus for some reason.

I have been to two clinics for the issue in 4 days. The people at the first one did not seem to know much as they are primarily a HIV test facility, and the second treated me like a number, brought me in, treated me with liquid nitrogen (while missing some ares), did not really answer my questions to the fullest, and sent me on my way. I have done a lot of research on my own and have found that some articles state that I will remain contagious for the rest of my life and others that state that once the warts clear up for a given duration of time, then I can consider myself no longer contagious. I once dated a girl for 6 years and she had herpes simplex 1 the entire time. Her outbreaks would occur about twice a year but we were always real carful right before, during, and for about a month after. Because of that, I never got contracted it but I know there was a "chance" that I could have. Would that be a suitable analogy for situation with warts minus the likelihood of their reoccurrence (if I can get rid of them)?

Are there any scientific papers that have been written recently that show the relation of the contagiousness to wart population or lack thereof? I have read articles like, http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/Possible-HPV-transmission/show/249391 which implies that if the warts clear up and are gone for a while, then I should practically forget I ever had them. Is there any hard evidence to prove this or new studies that would lead someone to trust that particular doctor's opinion? I guess I am looking for some stats, ratios, chances(in percentages), ect. that would give me more hope.

Also, can you comment on what the best method of treating this would be? I read that I should have the warts burned off (cryotherapy, acid, laser, electrocautery, etc.) or cut off and then I should use Aldara while doing everything I can to keep my immune system in the best shape possible. If this sounds about right, is there a best way to initially remove the warts? For example, I read that there was a substantial difference in wart regeneration between cutting them off and using cryotherapy.  

Knowing that I have HVP really bothers me because I would never want to distribute this to someone I care about in the future. Like I stated above I am  a serial monogamist, I don't want to sleep around, I want to find "the one." Now I feel like there is a possibility that I will have to settle for a eunuch's life or something. Please help!

2 Responses
Avatar universal
After I posted, I realized that I might have sounded a bit disrespectful towards H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. by questioning his opinion in the link in my original post. If that is the case, I would like to apologize as it was not my intention. His opinion in the link is some of the best news I have read thus far and I would just like to see some backing or other opinions. Thanks again!

1067212 tn?1353964002
I can completely relate to how you feel after just finding out you have contracted the virus. It's scary because you find yourself in an ambiguous situation, not knowing how serious it is and assuming you are labelled for life. In saying that, that isn't the case. HPV is very common and the strain that causes wart is harmless to your health. I do also sympathise with your bad luck after always being so careful too. Also the issue with clinics treating you like a number is probably because they understand how common it is and become immune to the people coming in with STDs every day.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the length of contagion, and the reason for that is when there are no symptoms, the wart causing virus cannot be identified. When the warts go, it isn't as simple as testing the body to see if the person is still contagious. Generally, experienced Dr's advise that after a period of 6 months without a break out, you can assume you are no longer contagious. This is because a large amount of people never go on to get symptoms again, and never experience any difficulties with the virus due to reasons such as the virus becoming less spreadable when visible symptoms aren't there, the bodies immune system clearing itself of the virus etc. If you are uncomfortable with 'just forgetting about it' after six months and want to be extra careful, use condoms which reduce the risk of spreading, especially when no symptoms are present and don't have sex when warts are there.

Every professional would probably suggest you follow the 6 month rule of thumb, however the virus can occur again after that time. The longest people seem to have to wait before the virus stops presenting itself is 1-2 years. After that time although the virus can come back, though it is quite rare.

As for evidence, it is out there but I personally don't know how you'd find it. The Dr's on this site are very experienced and reliable so I would personally go with what they suggest. As for treatment, different methods work for different people, and it all depends on the severity and location. For some with minor incidents, the Aldara cream works on its own and for others a combination is best. Take whatever the Dr suggests at the clinic and if that doesn't work for you, go back and discuss different means of treatments.
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