Avatar universal

HPV (Genital Wart Strain)


This is a very alarming Video I saw on youtube that scared me about my condition. I was recently diagnosed with HPV through a visual examination of my genital area. Unfortunately I can only be informed about my condition by my doctor at the dermatology clinic I was diagnosed with the virus (who is a physicians assistant and not a certified dermatologist). The information I received from him suggested that most of the patients he treats have on going symptoms and require routine check ups. He also informed me that in his experience patients normally return. I mentioned to him that from my online research I had come across the statistic that 90% of people clear the virus or it will go into remission to a point that it can not be traced. He replied that this statistic was absurdly high. I am very confused and I will admit that what ever the response I receive from this post will only add to the bank of knowledge I have. The response to this post will not reduce my skepticism. I am relatively new to this because I was diagnosed today. I have been researching heavily, and I am actually interested in many things. I will post more questions in different threads. I will outline my questions below.

1. Is there a statistic that outlines the rate of successful remission in infected patients.
2. Is there a test that will inform the infected person what type of HPV he/she has
3. My dermatologist led me to believe that in his experience most people return within months, and return for  treatment at that rate continuously. Is this statistic acceptable or is it not
4. How can I find a specialist that works exclusively with this type of disease so I can receive expert information.
5. Is there any website that can be recommended for information/treatment/lifestyle changes due to genital warts
6. When urinating how should one handle one's genitals to prevent auto inoculation (infecting one's self in different areas)

31 Responses
1306047 tn?1333243591
I didn't even watch the video.  I'm sure it's alarmist b.s. based on grains of truth.  Your doctor isn't very informed.  

1)  Yes, there is a statistic and it's very high.  You'll have to search this forum for the posts that discuss it but there are some long threads doing so.  Nearly everyone clears HPV in about a two years max and the majority in about a year.  There are few cases extending over two and none over three.  Sometimes HPV can reappear however as evidence suggests you've only repressed the virus, not 86'd it.  If a woman becomes pregnant she can reflare, or if you get HIV or chemo for cancer.  An immune impairment is the cause of the flare up.

2) Yes, if you have active warts you can get the tissue biopsied.  Derms don't like to do this and most will try to talk you out of it.  They consider it irrelevant and in a way they are right.  Also they can scrape your junk and test the skin flakes for HPV DNA via PCR testing but it's not available for us but is done in research labs and stuff.

3)Your derm is correct.  You should expect at least one recurrence with three or four months and probably around three to six.  More and many more than six is not uncommon.  Every few/several weeks to couple months seems to be par for the course.  If you've gone six months with no flare ups, it's argued that now you can consider yourself in remission and no longer contagious, most likely for the rest of your life.

4)You can get expert info on this site in the Doctor forums in the STDs forum. Post your question for $20 or just keyword search a bunch of HPV posts.  You'll find all you need to know.

5)Yes, this one, and another that I can't remember right now but it's an acronym something like ahs....org.  You don't need much info regarding lifestyle changes.  They are:  Eat right and drink lots of water and get your rest and limit alcohol so that your immune system is tip top.  Get as stress free as possible for the same reason.  Don't have sex without protection and don't hook up with people without getting to know them first and their recent sexual past (three to six months).  If someone had unprotected sex with a partner infected with high risk HPV even a year ago and you have unprotected sex with them, you may become infected now too.  You'll never know but conceivable for up to two years hence you may be contagious to your new partners.  How terrible is this?  Arguably not too bad as nearly all HPV infections resolve themselves without serious consequences.

6)  Cross contamination is unlikely as genital warts don't like the hand or other non-genital parts of the body.  Oral hpv can occur but is considered less preferred by the virus and not as easy to take there.  You def can't get it on your hands just as if you had hand warts you wouldn't spread them to you genitals.  Just wash your hands I guess and don't rub your dick in your eyes.  I'm assuming everyone can do that too.  :)

Hope this helps.  Search this forum for the discussions on hpv and oral cancer and you'll discover it's a bunch of hype and nothing to worry about.  
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply, I know that what you're saying is consistent with everything I've read. I am a mechanical engineer and because of this I tend to be analytical and very thorough. I am just worried because I haven't received information from ,what I consider, a specialist. I am in the initial stage of shock, and I literally just got back from telling my current girlfriend I have it. She was extremely understanding, and thanks to that I definitely have less stress (which is good for my immune system). She will be seeing a gynecologist and receiving all the appropriate tests in the coming weeks. I partially wanted to this question so that I can continue to add to it as my knowledge of this virus grows. I know that this is a personal experience and because we are all our own micro chemical systems it is difficult to know how our reactions will occur from person to person. I will continue to post on this thread until there is nothing else for me to post (hopefully the eradication or complete remission of the virus). I hope people can gain some sort of ease of mind and that is my goal.

1. I have HPV genital warts and they were treated with cryogenic freezing. This was my first treatment and I have some irritation around the warts. I currently had 5 warts, and questionably a growth on the end of my penis which the doctor said is nothing.

2. There is also Pealy Penile Papules present on my penis on the border of the head of my penis. My dermatologist (Physicians assistant) at first mistook them for warts, and since I had done my research before hand I made sure to tell him I have had them most of my life (before any sexual encounter). This is why I am skeptical of his diagnosis on the growth on the end of my penis which I am worried is also a wart in early stages.

3. I will have a follow up visit in a week, I will post more information then

4. For now I am washing my hands and applying polyosporin on the irritations using a q-tip.

5. Any thread suggesting you shouldn't inform your partner or prospective partner that you have or had HPV is irresponsible in my point of view. I was freaking out about the idea of loosing my girlfriend when I broke the news. I am glad I told her, I could potentially be saving her life by letting her be aware of the heightened risks. In the same way that you are able to get in formation from this post (if you are infected) the person you are with has the same right to know and be informed!
Avatar universal
I will also leave a question. I want to know if there is such thing as an HPV specialist and how to find them locally. I will do my own research, but I wanted to leave this post in the event that it may help me reach my objective sooner. Thank you!
Avatar universal
@NewHPVCase: Letting someone know about your HPV infection is indeed gentleman. Most people don't tell others about their HPV infection though hence why it's easily spread. Regarding the amount of 90% of people clear the virus within 2 years, I do believe it's a bit too high myself. I have seen like 5-6 dermatologists and half of them said there's no time limit for HPV infection, it can be reactivated anytime even after 3-4 years. However, after forcing them to talk further, they believed most people NEVER ACTUALLY RETURNED TO THEM to get another treatment after 3-6 times (and those 3-6 times usually within 18 months period).

So it's either the doctors who are BS or the statistics. I would say it's the doctors. I dont believe 90% of people clear HPV infection after 2 years myself, probably only as high as 70%. However, you have to keep in mind HPV does nothing but grow warts in your body. If you are so concerned that your GF later would get cervical cancer from you, just get her gardasyl. Also tell her to get pap smear test routinely. She definitely wont get cervical cancer if she routinely diagnosed.

If in the end you lose your GF just because you have HPV, well you are not alone mate. This is all of our problem. Myself always have such dilemma, dont let the stress conquer you. Your life is more than just a relationship.
Avatar universal
also you have to keep in mind HPV alone is unlikely to cause cervical cancer. Women who have high-risk HPV strain then got cervical cancer are those women whose antibody was extremely terrible or they might got the cancer from something else (foods for example).

If your girl antibody level is normal, most likely she doesnt need any treatment but still (for reassurance) pap smear test is needed
Avatar universal
Well the problem is that I found out that I had HPV after me and her had sex. This is why when I found out it made it even more difficult. I have had sex 4 times in my life and my girlfriend is the fourth time. I guess since more people seem to be saying they clear symptoms and don't see them again after the symptoms cease I will be positive and hope for the best. I know that right now I have recently been treated and the treatment left some irritation that hasn't cleared yet. I am not really scared about the relationship, she was very understanding and trusted me in my confession concerning my sexual experiences. I went and had a complete STD exam for which results will be given to me soon. I understand that what you are saying is true but because HPV is so easy to transmit,I am afraid she already has it. I will continue to share my experience as I go along. I hope that I can continue to receive information. This thread alone is pretty representative of what research I have made. I know that this is something that will be specific to the person that contracts the virus so information may vary.
1306047 tn?1333243591
It's not as easy as you may think to transmit.  I got while on a break from my ex.  We got back together and then I discovered the HPV.  She was pissed but we stuck it out for a while.  We never have ever used protection.  I had one outbreak while we were together, one before and one afterwards. She has never gotten it and she's had two partners since and they don't have it either.  
Avatar universal
magic thing about HPV is that it differs from one person to another. Myself ever had sex with this girl after I was diagnosed with genital warts but she claimed she never grew any wart. I even recommended her to go to doctor for checkup (as it's harder for women to spot their warts) and yeah the doctor said she was clean (and that's 6 months after our last sexual encounter).

I have read somewhere (i forgot where) that even when you got the same HPV strain that cause genital warts, it might not grow on you (despite it grew on your sexual partner).

This is the magic about HPV. Let's say I have HPV strain 6 that cause genital wart. I had sex with this girl and she supposed to get the same HPV strain 6, right? But then, she actually never grew any wart despite she might have that strain 6 already...there are a lot of cases out there and I believe the link I read before was from a trusted source. It's true that on some people they dont grow genital wart EVEN AFTER they got the virus itself from us.
Avatar universal
this is why you can see a lot of people complained that their sexual partner never grew any wart but then they got infected.

For example, I infected my GF but then she never grew any wart. Obviously she would think she's clean, right? Then let's say I break up with her and she has a new BF. That new BF might grow genital wart even though this girl never grew any wart in the past few years. That's a very common case, i have read a lot about them.

HPV is confusing, indeed.
Avatar universal
Yes this is very confusing, and honestly I hope that I was unable to infect her or that she has had it and "cleared" it from her system. We talked about the possibility that she isn't infected and I am. One of the options if that is the case is that I told her she should get the Gardasil vaccine if that is the case. Her mom, who used to work for a pharmaceutical company, advised against the vaccine due to her fear of its side effects. I had myself planned to get the vaccine despite the fact I am infected until I heard this. I will now do research on this matter and report what I find. I have been looking from thread to thread and once again I am finding more and more people who claim that they seem to be having a hard time clearing the symptoms (i.e warts). I talked to my girlfriend and we decided I will not have sex with her until my warts have cleared, and I go into remission. I am afraid though that this might never happen. I have also been running into more and more cases where people report having spread their genital warts to their partner and they show signs of oral warts. I have not seen many articles on this, and I am wondering if this is something that can happen to anyone or if it is actually that rare. I am confused if this is rare because people refrain from oral sex compared to vaginal or anal sex, or if it is actually something that is difficult to transmit to that area.  
Avatar universal
Btw i apprecite your responses. I am in the second day post treatment. I have slight abdominal soreness and the warts have become, in a sence, highlighted. The have what looks like a purple bruise surrounding a light brown spot that is the wart.

1. Are these normal symptombs for freezing them off
2. What is the average healing time
3. What is the effectiveness of this treatment
1306047 tn?1333243591
Getting your warts frozen off doesn't look too cool during the healing process.  No treatment does.  It may look as if it is going to scar but it won't.  The skin down there is pretty resilient.  I have one tiny little mark from one of my treatments but you can't notice it unless pointed out. I'd say the average healing is around a week or so.  I think the treatment is pretty effective.  But the virus is still active so for whatever unknown reason it can decide to rise again so just be ready for that.

I would also like to mention that you don't necessarily refrain from sex now.  I would completely until the treatment heals, but after that, if she's willing you can engage.  As long as you aren't touching skin to skin you should be alright.  Remember that warts are merely a cosmetic issue so there is no actual medical scariness to them.  Consider leaving your underwear on during foreplay longer, perhaps do self masturbation or let her do it to you to get you ready for sex.  Wear that condom and then go for it.  As long as you pay close attention to the contact issue you'll be alright I would say.
Avatar universal
I understand what you are saying, and the fact that I am in a very understanding relationship helps. I guess in a way I'm empathetic to the thought process of someone who is single or had to end a relationship because of this issue. This is probably one of the main reasons that people look for an answer that makes them feel it will clear. I feel like from my experience thus far it is purely cosmetic apart from some soreness I feel due to treatment (I believe). The problem is the embarrassment and fear that it may progress to the stage shown on images online. The truth is before I got diagnosed it looked like ,to what I've seen it referred to, a skin tag. It did not look disfiguring at all. I was ,immediately after diagnosis, terrified I would end up like a google image. I know immunological response is a key factor in the resilience of this virus. I admit I am still terrified. I am afraid that from now on relationships and sex will never be as before. I am scared this virus will worsen and lead to other symptoms. The worst enemy is ignorance followed by paranoia. That is why I posted this thread. I want to know and feel like I understand this problem and that I am not the only person with these questions. Thanks to everyone again, the post really do help my moral and knowledge.  
1306047 tn?1333243591
Paranoia is by far the worst effect of HPV, that and losing a relationship over it.  I've had both.  Carrying HPV stigma into another relationship is lame too.  I've been clear for six months now and the doctors say that means that I've cleared the virus and am no longer contagious.  I'm seeing someone who wants sex, but I keep saying no because I have enough worry where I can't actually keep it up long enough to get that condom on and penetrate without it being rushed and forced... and therefore lame!  I don't want to tell her and technically I don't have to.  If i have no threat of transfer then it's not really her business.  Also, for all practical purposes I should be more scared of her than she of me.  She admitted to having three protected sex episodes with this dude last month and the latest was within three weeks ago.  I have no way of knowing whether she has a strain now and doesn't know it!  It's hard though to shake the brain fear.  I can tell you stories man of nights not slept and all sorts of stuff.  You have your own as well.

Quick thoughts:   You will never become like the google pics.  Those are extreme untreated warts and noone gets like that.  Also, warts will never lead to other symptoms.  Also also, you will def clear the virus and most likely in about a year but it could be less or slightly more.  I'd be very surprised if you were still dealing with this two years from now and that includes the six month period waiting with fingers crossed.  The hardest part of warts for most of us is the act of returning to sex.  It's a stigma and we are under it's thumb, much of it self imposed.  Our only recourse is to put it in perspective, fight the fear and stigma and all that comes along with it.  Sooner or later, as well, enough time will have gone by with no warts that you'll know for sure in your brain that you are not contagious.  Then a lot of this will be gone I'm betting.  
Avatar universal
I have been in a panic for the last two days. I have been worried since my confirmed HPV diagnosis. I went immediately after the diagnosis to get a full STD exam. I have not received any results, but I am not frantically searching for symptoms and any sign of a problem. I did have a physical about a month ago where the doctor mentioned that my vitals were good, and that my immune system was up to par. This information was followed by a concerned examination of my lymph nodes. I remember him saying that they were swollen and that he wanted to check up on me in two months. This was like I said before my diagnosis of HPV, do these two have any correlation other than the fact that my immune system is fighting HPV?
Avatar universal
I guess I am freaking out, because if I was able to catch HPV, I am not worried I could easily catch anything else...
Avatar universal
**now...instead of not...I can't even write..):
Avatar universal
i dont think there's any relationship between risk of getting another STD and having wart...unless if you have sex when your wart is present, but other than that there's no relationship..

you can, of course, get 2 STDs at the same time. You said it's been 4 weeks and you get tested? Yeah it's good time to test. You might want to get another test after 3 months for HIV and syphilis but for the rest you dont have to
Avatar universal
I think that the person who I got this from is from 6 months ago. I got STD test for everything. I have some discomfort in my abdomen. I am not sure if it is my lymph nodes. I am confused where this pain came from, or if it came from my removal treatment. There is still some bruises that look like they are turning into scabs I believe.
Avatar universal
The results should arrive by July 27. This is why I have more paranoia.
Avatar universal
seriously? STD test results arrive in 2-3 weeks? Where do you live? Usually blood test results can be taken within 24-48 hours...as of gonorrhea/chlamydia it can be 1-7 days, but not 3 weeks...seems like the lab is lazy
Avatar universal
I've never been in this situation so I never knew the procedure. I just found out that there is one for HIV that test in 20mins and I guess the other results will arrive by weds. The clinic told me that if the don't contact me in two weeks after the exam that I am negative but the HIV blood test result I took there isn't available till the 27 of July. Today I'm going to get a rapid HIV exam. I am very stressed and very nervous.
Avatar universal
HIV negative! I will never have sex w/o a condom till I'm married.
Avatar universal
I will be seeing the dermatologist tomorrow to check my status. So far four of the five warts treated seem to have been removed successfully. There is one that looks like it hasn't fully been taken off completely.

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