Avatar universal

Genital Wart outbreaks for 7 years


I'm a male who has been suffering with genital warts outbreaks for over 6-7 years...

I have done a ton of research on the subject of HPV.  I was first diagnosed with HPV genital warts back in 2006 when I was 23/24.

When I first went to my general practitioner doctor back in 2006 when I had 1 wart on my penis shaft, the idiot said to leave it and it would go away. After about 6 months it didn't and then I had a further outbreak of more at the base of my penis.

Anyway, over the years I've gone to the free clinic near where I live and I've had numerous Podophillin/Freezing treatments and they used to get rid of the warts for a while but then they come back eventually.  The longest I've been without warts is roughly about a year.

The outbreaks I have had in the last 2/3 years seem to be a lot smaller, almost hardly noticable, I only know what to look for because I use a magnifying glass and I can see the tiny more clearly.  They have been confirmed at the clinic each time so I'm not being paranoid.

I've tried the full 4 month course of Aldara recently after a recent outbreak but this had no affect whatsoever, I didn't even have any skin reaction or anything, I just felt a bit tired with flu like symptoms so I don't think I will take it again.

It seems here in the UK and across most western medicine practices, they just treat the visible signs of infection without addressing the underlying immunity (or lack of) cause.  I believe my problem is my body's cell-mediated response, it seems it has never really shut down this virus.

Has anyone heard of using Tagamet to boost cell-mediated activity?  I hear it has helped kids overcome normal and genital warts. I've ordered some and I'm self medicating at 600mg with a view to increasing for a maximum of 2-3 months.  I've read about adults who have had success and this drug can help activate cell-mediated activity to clear the virus.

I rarely get ill or allergies but I think my cell-mediated activity is malfuncitoning and I need something to boost my immune system.

I also hear Dr Ian Frazer, creator of Gardasil is also working on a therapeutic form of the Gardasil vaccine, when this will be ready and approved for use though is anyone's guess.  I guess I'll have to wait until I'm 40 or something.

All the docs tell me to just persist with the normal treatments of freezing but I feel these don't address the problem of immunity.

In addition no matter what anyone says, it's very hard to start a relationship with these warts around. Over the years I've had 10 sexual partners, some casual, some gf's, always when the warts aren't around and I've been clear for a long while. Is it more likely that I have caught another strain of the virus?  

Anyway, I've decided to be celibate until I meet someone I want to have a long-term relationship with I don't want to pass anything on to anyone else and I don't want to catch any other strains of the HPV virus. I feel like until I can go 6 months without an outbreak there's really no point even dating someone. The whole experience has really made me scared now of going with anyone, obviously warts aren't that serious and I'm also afraid of all the other more serious things you can catch.

If any doctor or anyone with any useful advice is reading this I'd like your opinion on whether my immune system can fight the virus. Am I the 1-2% of the rare people who will get outbreaks for the rest of their life?
53 Responses
Avatar universal
for immune system daily multivitamin and folic acid are advisable..also Vitamin A supplement and and L-lysene tablets. I have read them on other web pages.. maybe they work..
Avatar universal

Thanks for the advice, I forgot to mention I am already taking these high dose supplements, some important ones as liquid drops for best absorption into the body.  I also don't smoke, rarely drink and I exercise.

Adult Multivitamin (contains high dosages of all B vitamins)
liquid vitamin D drops
liquid vitamin A
liquid vitamin E
liquid Folic Acid
Vitamin C with Bilberry
Garlic Capsules
Calcium Complex
Reiki/Shitake mushroom capsules (immune boost apparently)

Good point about L-lysene is one I need to add to my daily supplement intake, I have read before about it's benefits for those with cold sores and so on, so I'll get this.

I take these at high dosages but still my immune system does nothing it's like it doesn't see the virus as a threat.

Personally healthwise I feel great, I never get ill for some reason my immune system just doesn't lock the virus down.  I've never had that immune response where the immune system just gets rid of the warts on their own and they turn black and vanish.  I hear about people who have this and I envy them, seriously don't know what's wrong with my immunity.

What else can I be doing, I've even considered wierd alternative therapies like acupuncture or crystal therapy, lol.

Any other advice?
Avatar universal

Can you please share links of hospitals and websites where you've found info about supplement treatment? I just read about zinc sulfate and this stuff called profitech

Avatar universal
I've had it for just as long and am just as fed up. I've only upped my vitamin intake, not sure what else to do. I also don't smoke and rarely get sick. I work out constantly and eat fairly well. I do drink on the weekends, that is definitely my weakest link, but I don't think it is why the virus persist with me. Is there an email I can contact you at? If not maybe we can just continue to share experiences on here. I'd like to stay in touch with people dealing with similar issues for just as long. It seems very hard these days to find people to relate to that have had it for a long time.
Avatar universal
Hi Gabri,

There are loads of links on the net, here are just some examples.  Try not to go overboard, it can be overwhelming when you see all the different things people take. The basics are eat healthy with lots of veg/fruit and exercise to try and keep your immune system strong. The only problem with the food we eat is that through modern farming methods veg/fruit have less nutritional value than they did 100 years ago, e.g. a spinach back in 1915 had approx. 248mg of Iron, nowdays it will have 50mg, so it has 1/5th of the nutritional value, no wonder people get genital wart outbreaks and cancers.  Our ancestors were eating healthier ****! We'd have to eat loads just to get the same nutritional value, so that's why supplementation does help make sure you're not deficient in certain things.

From all the research I have done (I also work in nutrition, ironically) I would say supplementing the following during and after treatment may help you:

Here's a full list of what I'm taking and why from research I've done:

. Adult Multivitamin & Minerals - if you get a good one with good levels of all vitamins and trace minerals this will save taking too many individual vitamins

. Vitamin A - has been found to support skin cells and immune function

. Vitamin B complex - you need to get enough B vitamins as these help synthesise energy that your cells and immune cells need to reproduce and function

. Vitamin C - Vitamin C is well known to support immune function

. Vitamin D - I live in the UK so everyone is sunlight deficient, vitamin D has been shown to help mediate immune system function properly and maintain mood and hormone balance.

. Vitamin E - for cell function and has been linked to immunity

. Zinc - I take sulphate but gluconate is also meant to be good, supports immune function

. Selenium - supports immune function

. Garlic - Antiseptic and anti fungal, allicin in Garlic has this property, basically helps make environment difficult for viruses/bacteris to survive.

. Shitake/Miatake/Reishi mushroom extract - in Japanese herbal medicine these have been found to boost the immune system

. L-lyceine - It's an amino acid.  Research shows it helps people who have herpes outbreaks both orally and in the genital region. I've added this recently, it's meant to help inhibit virus replication somehow and support immune function.

Green Tea - Chinese drink it, it's been shown to have many health benefits including boosting the immune system.  I actually prefer it to caffeinated drinks now, I rarely drink coffee or tea because I prefer green tea and I know it's healthier for me.

Probiotic - Maintaining healthy levels of gut bacteria help immunity, antibiotics actually kill good bacteria in the stomach and it takes months to get back to normal levels.  If you've had anitbiotics then definately follow up with a course of probiotics to get your gut flora back to good levels.

Omega 3 and 6 - proven to help maintain normal hormone levels and thus immunity

There are so many more things, but like I said try not to go overboard, try not to let it run your life, other people treat their bodies like crap and don't have outbreaks, for some reason we've just been unlucky with outbreaks so all we can do is try and give out bodies some help.

It's all down to the immune system. You want to get rid of the visible signs which is actually the easier part but keeping your immune system strong so it can maybe clear the virus.  A lot of people say it's forever but I believe the immune system can completely get rid of the virus if it is able to recognise it and remove all infected cells, unfortunately for me for some reason my immune system doesn't seem to recognise it very well for some reason, everyone is different.

Nutrition links:



Some links that may help you:

Support sites (lots of info on here):

Info about the new theraputic vaccine for people who already have HPV:


Avatar universal
Hey man,

Sorry to hear you have the same problems as I do.  At least we can take some comfort in knowing were not alone, there are thousands of people out there who have trouble shifting this virus so never feel alone.

I'll PM you my email, always good to share stories and learnings, see my post on here before, there's even more research I have on treatments, nutrition etc.

Bodies are still a mystery, I really hope they can produce a vaccine/treatment to target this so that all infected host cells can be destroyed by the body.  One day I believe they will.  This is something that affects rich/poor alike and it's spreading more every year.  When it affects the rich, you know that there will be money spent on research on this.

Here is a link to Dr. Ian Frazer's new treatment for existing infections, hopefully only a few years away:


I will never give up fighting this thing, if it's fate to have it forever then so be it, but at least I know I tried to beat it and that gives me strength.  It's people who surrender who may as well roll up and die, I prefer the philosophy of fighting to the end, life's too short to curl up and bow down to this thing, I will never give up fighting.
Avatar universal
I'm taking nearly all of the vitamins and supplements you're taking. I used to take the  L-lyceine too but stopped as I replaced it with some Elderberry pills for the Winter to ward off colds. I have not had a wart in 10 months and feel like I beat it. I agree that it is the immune system which will defeat this thing. If I had one wish, I would wish for an accurate test for men. It sucks not knowing one's HPV health. This is supposed to be a man's world yet only women can get tested. WTF?
Avatar universal
Veryworried420, I'm also surprised there isn't a test for men. They say its because the risk for men is so small and limited and rarely know they're carriers, but men being aware of having something they don't have symptoms for could help prevent spreading it to women who are in greater risk of cancer from it. A lot of what is being done with HPV doesn't make sense to me.
Avatar universal
There is no test for men because there is no way to reliably test in men. Blood or urine doesn't work. What strain you have on one thigh could be different on the other thigh. DNA samples would have to be taken everywhere there is gential skin. Men are most likely carriers. HPV is the most common STD in the world and also considered to be a nuisance to some doctors. Drug companies could make billions if they provided accurate tests for men or vaccines to make the infected not infectious. Women's cancer health is the greater risk but this doesn't mean men do not have a cancer risk too. This is all very crazy.
1306047 tn?1333243591
Out of curiosity, are your outbreaks too small to biopsy?  I understand they are being visually confirmed by your doctor(s), but people are fallible.  If it were me after this long, I'd insist on a biopsy to rule out hyper-inspection hypochondriac reactions.  Not saying that's what you're doing, but to be one of the super few who suffer from prolonged outbreaks, I'd be trying to rule everything out.  Good luck.  It sucks I know.  
Avatar universal
Hey Vandy,

I agree with you, they often treat men like it's nothing. What they don't realise is the emotional turmoil it can cause to any individual and to those who are in relationships.  I totally agree, there must be hundreds of thousands of people out there who are struggling because of misinformation and misdiagnosis, they could make so much money.

I will ask for a biopsy next time I go to the free clinic.  Unfortunately here in the UK free doctors see warts as almost a trivial thing so it's doubtful they'll take a biopsy but I may as well ask.

In my case I'm trying not to be hyperchondriac at all, but I'm pretty sure the recurrences I get are still warts, their just tiny, it's like the virus is weakened but not quite gone.  Everyone is different I suppose.

The problem is most people get a few recurrences and usually clear within 2 years, for people like me it's almost like they don't know what to suggest other than the usual freeze/podophilin methods but this only treats the visible signs.  I often feel like I know more about the virus, immunity and treatment options than any doctor I've met.

Here the health care is free but that often means that you're treated like a box on a conveyor belt, it's the old 'Ship em in, ship em out' quick mentality.  They don't even explain the virus to people, no wonder the virus gets spread about so much, people don't even know they are still contageous.

I'd pay a hansome price for a vaccine that treats existing carriers and helps the immune system to clear it.  I'm sure most people who can afford it would pay too.  I hope that they might find a general cure within the next 10 years so no one has to deal with this anymore.  

Anyway, I'll keep fighting this thing.  At least I'm 29 so my immune system might miraculously get off it's arse and lock it down one day, lol.
Avatar universal
Hey man, if you've been 10 months without an outbreak then that's a good sign. What treatment did you use?

I also think instead of just a test for the virus itself, they should do an immunity test, that way if someone has lower number of T-Cells etc. they can advise them on diet/exercise the right medication to increase immune function at the early stages.

When I first had an outbreak, I used to smoke on weekends, drink and didn't treat my health as well as I do now.  I also didn't have any advice for years on nutrition and supplementation to help my immune system.

I feel western doctors address the visible signs without addressing the underlying causes to why immunity is low etc.  

Well thankfully we have the internet and forums like these where we can share knowledge.

I'm trying Tagamet at the moment as I read it has helped younger children, teens and adults with treatment of normal and genital warts.  Tagamet is a anti-heartburn drug but a side affect is meant to be that it improves cell-mediated immune response be stopping T Suppressor cells, this is the immune response you want so that the TCells go 'on the hunt' for antigens and viruses.

At the same time, I'm trying one of these topical treatments too on the visible warts, it's called Wartcide,  Anyway never tried this approach before but I figure what the hell, something else I haven't tried.

I'll let you guys know if I have any success with this treatment.
Hi. how are you now? are you still have the outbreak? I've get tested that i have genital warts around my anus. its just showed there about a 2 months ago. i had appointment in clinic and the Dr said that it was genital warts and caused by HPV! i really shocked and don't know what to do. The Dr make another appointment for me to cut the warts and will be giving me 3 doses of vaccine within 1 year. Is that any changes happen after taking those vaccine and possible warts cant come again? can i planning for married a woman? my future wife will affected too? if yes, i cant married until my death?
Hi. how are you now? are you still have the outbreak? I've get tested that i have genital warts around my anus. its just showed there about a 2 months ago. i had appointment in clinic and the Dr said that it was genital warts and caused by HPV! i really shocked and don't know what to do. The Dr make another appointment for me to cut the warts and will be giving me 3 doses of vaccine within 1 year. Is that any changes happen after taking those vaccine and possible warts cant come again? can i planning for married a woman? my future wife will affected too? if yes, i cant married until my death?
1306047 tn?1333243591
My outbreak lasted exactly a year with five recurrences in that year.  The last time I got slathered with pedophylin and never heard from those warts again.  I can't say it's the pedophylin or what.  Maybe I was a lucky textbook case.  One of my untested theories is that folks like you with long, atypical manifestations might have one of the rarer strains of HPV.  Since they are much rarer, this could explain why only a small percentage of folks have HPV behave this way.  Since each body reacts a bit different to the virus, perhaps some of those small percentage fight it off and others can't so well.  Just a theory.  In the UK, you might be able to appeal to your doctors sense of injustice that you have had HPV for so long that you are not like other typical cases.  Because your experience is atypical, this warrants a biopsy in your case.  I'd push hard and if they say no, rub your junk on their face!  
Avatar universal
Haha, good idea, threaten them with it, lol.

You make a good point, I could have one of the rarer strains.  I will ask for a biopsy, I am trying to get rid of these warts just one more time using a combination of all the supplements I'm taking plus Tagamet 800mg per day as well as Wartamine which contains apple cider vinegar, zinc, vit c, vit E, tea tree oil and some other stuff. I want to try treating it myself to treat both the visible symptoms and immune side of things for a while before going back to their normal methods of freezing/podophilin etc.

I am seeing some results on the visible signs at present from doing all of this. The visible warts have started to turn black which is always nice to see, hopefully not long before they drop off.  I think Apple Cider Vinegar definately can help on the visible signs but it's powerful stuff so it's important not to leave it on for too long and to allow rest days for normal skin to recover. I'm also hoping the Tagamet will produce a stronger cell-mediated response to the areas I'm treating and the t-cells will eradicate all infected cells. Fingers crossed but I'm not getting my hopes up.

If they come back after this time, then I'll go back and request a biopsy.  

Will keep you all informed of any further progress.
Avatar universal
how long did it take for you to see your first outbreak? I'm afraid I have a wart in my mouth and once used my saliva as "lube" for sexual entercourse and i'm afriad I have it below now....i've been to 4 doctors about this bump and no one feels its a wart but i have my concerns.
Avatar universal
I had a lot better luck with the Aldara when I first burned the warts off with salicylic acid.  The Aldara wasn't helping as well before using the acid, especially in certain areas. Yes, it's a bit more pain but it helped me.  You could also add Low Dose Naltrexone to your medication.  It helps boost the immune system.  In your case, I really don't think it would be enough of a benefit on it's own.  I tried it with a lot of herbal immune boosters alone and I didn't get any results.  I read the body doesn't properly identify some cases of HPV as a virus and doesn't attack it.  Somewhere I read, Aldara somehow tells your body to attack it again.

You're in the UK so Celebrex is also an option for you.  I recommend driving different combinations until you find something that works.

Imiquimod (Aldara) is a topical immune response cream, applied to the affected area. It causes less local irritation than podofilox but may cause fungal infections (11% in package insert) and flu-like symptoms (less than 5% disclosed in package insert).[13]
Sinecatechins (marketed as Veregen and Polyphenon E) is an ointment of catechins (55% epigallocatechin gallate[5]) extracted from green tea and other components. Mode of action is undetermined.[15] It appears to have higher clearance rates than podophyllotoxin and imiquimod and causes less local irritation, but clearance takes longer than with imiquimod.[13]

http://en.wikipedia org/wiki/Genital_warts#Management

Avatar universal
Hi Cardz,

I think I might have had a long incubation period with mine, I can't be certain who I got it from because I'd had several sexual partners including long term girlfriends before I had my first outbreak at 24.  I think I may have been incubating it for 2 years or more.  They say with long incubation periods it can take longer for the immune system to get on top of the virus, I guess because it's been in your system for so long the immune system doesn't react as aggressively to it or something.

I don't think you should worry about transmission with your saliva, from what I've read it's usually skin to skin contact that spreads the virus.  According to what I've read it's also rare for genital warts to spread to the mouth.

Try not to worry at this stage, until you know for sure what it is. It might even just be a benign cyst or a gland perhaps.  If you're really worried I would demand they take a very small biopsy so they can identify exactly what the lump is.

Let me know if that helps man, sorry I don't have all the answers but try not to stress and make sure you eat well, exercise, get enough sleep too that will all help your body.

Avatar universal
Hi test_dummy,

Thank for your post.  It's interesting you mention Salycilic acid.  I only ever had 1 wart on a finger when I was 19 once, long before I had genital warts. The salycilic acid worked very well with the normal wart. It is something I have considered too if Wartaming/Tagamet combination doesn't work.  Like you say it might be more painful but worth a try if all else fails.

I'll check out the Naltrexone and Celebrex too, I've not heard of those before but I'm open to trying anything that will help my immune system recognise this virus and wipe it out.

On a positive note, I have applied Wartamine and this has got rid of the visible signs.  I'm trying to continue with Tagamet (1 month in so far) as well as taking my vitamin supps and exercising as much as possible to give my immune system the best chance of finding and clearing this virus.

I'll let you know if any updates, thanks for your advice.
Avatar universal
I've had HPV for over 10 years. I've had warts under my nails, warts, on my hands, on my feet, in my genital area in my anus. It can most certainly make you feel down...especially when others notice them and make a face about how ugly they are. I'm a woman. I've had abnormal Pap smears. I've had abnormal cells removed from cervix. I had the Gardisille vaccine as well. I am still struggling to get rid of these warts. It's refreshing to hear I'm not alone. I sympathize greatly with anyone who is infected. I wish my warts would just go away. I took Tagamet for 4 months and it did absolutely nothing. I had Candida injections and it did nothing. Candida is supposed to rid the virus and boost your immune system. After 10 years of going through this, I feel like I've been to hell and back. The sexual partners I've had I told and they never got symptoms of any kind. But they could. I never thought that when I was having sex this was even an option to contract. When I was in high school it was never mentioned. But I think the most positive things that has come from it, is that you are naturally more careful, you can teach others, and you take your sexual/love life way more seriously. I wish everyone luck. I pray for a cure.
Avatar universal

Thanks for sharing your experience. I do beleive there are rare cases like ours where our bodies just aren't very good at cleaning up the virus even though we may be healthy everywhere else. I beleive there is a genetic predisposition to how the immune system deals with the virus in some people.

It was never mentioned when I was in high school and collage (university) either. I didn't even know this existed. It's so common though, good to hear that at least you're still having sexual partners.  It's the same for me, as far as I'm aware none of my sexual partners have had genital warts. I pray to God I haven't passed this to anyone, I've always tried to wear protection at least.

You're right, it does make you more careful about who you have sex with and makes relationships mean more than they did. It can be nerve-wracking that first time you tell one, I still get nervous about going on dates and having to have the conversation but we've got to be brave, we are the ones who know what this is. Most people I've told family and friends alike are usually grateful for the knowledge and they accept that it's so common it's a lottery which strain you're gonna get.

If it's any hope I read this today, they are looking into developing vaccines to treat existing infections, this looks promising - http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/publications/headway/headway_summer_2013/a_new_therapeutic_vaccine_for_rrp_

I think within the next 5 years there maybe a really good therapy which can force the immune system to identify and target infected cells effectively killing the virus that causes visible strains of HPV including types 6 and 11.

Keep the faith, we've got to live our lives depsite this, it could always be a lot lot worse!
Avatar universal
I found your post online, I also have been battling warts for the past 6-7 years, honestly I did not see a Dr. until 2009. That was the first time I had them treated by a professional. Before that I would burn them off on my own. They always came back. Anyways I just wanted to follow up to see if you had any updates on you condition. Thanks.
Avatar universal
I found your post online, I also have been battling warts for the past 6-7 years, honestly I did not see a Dr. until 2009. That was the first time I had them treated by a professional. Before that I would burn them off on my own. They always came back. Anyways I just wanted to follow up to see if you had any updates on you condition. Thanks.
Avatar universal
We are new at this but have had success in 4 of 4 people so far with warts that had been significantly bothersome for long periods of time, The immune system is the key, we are using homemade tea from Wild Chaga and reishi mushrooms.  The mushroom tablets that u are using may not be very effective compared to a hot water extract from fresh wild harvested mushrooms, we haven't had anyone with genital warts try it yet so if this works for you please let us know. ***@****
Avatar universal
When you have recurrences- meaning the wart is treated, goes away, and then comes back in the same spot - how long does it usually take before that wart comes back?  Couple weeks?  Months?

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