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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

HPV: when is it safe to have unprotected sex?

I was diagnosed with HPV about 7 or so years ago after I went to the doctor about what turned out to be genital warts (on the scrotum). I got them frozen off immediately, and everything was fine for a while, but years later I developed a new wart on my scrotum similar to the ones I had before (I was sexually active so for all I know it's a new strain...but I've been vaccinated so probably not). I read that HPV warts usually go away on their own after a while, but it's been more than a year and the wart persists. I'm planning on getting it removed soon.

This wasn't too big a problem since I was single over that period of time, but I've recently met a girl I'm interested in dating (and, obviously, eventually having sex with). Various online sources seem to say that if you wait one or two YEARS after an outbreak you "greatly reduce" your likelihood of transmitting the virus. They also say that condoms will greatly reduce that risk. Neither of these options are appealing to me.

I don't have an allergy to condoms, but I find them to be very uncomfortable, so much so that they often make me lose my erection (which is incredibly embarrassing). At the same time, I don't want to be doomed to a sexless relationship for the next two years (or more if I have another breakout), nor to force that on someone else.

So...what do I do here? I mean, I assume I will have to tell her this before we have any sort of unprotected sex, but how do you say "I have genital warts and don't want to give them to you" without it being an immediate turn-off/black mark? Furthermore, if I have the wart removed is there really still a high likelihood of passing the virus to her if we have sex without a condom within the next two years? I've read, too, that "most" HPV infections are fought off by the immune system and never have any noticeable effects...is that referring to most STRAINS of the virus? That is to say, is the fact that mine gave me warts indicative that it probably won't be fought off by her immune system (since it wasn't by mine), and will give her warts too? If so, is there any way to protect against that other than condoms/abstinence?

tl;dr: how can a person with a genital wart causing strain of HPV who currently has a breakout (that originated more than a year ago and will soon be removed) carry on a healthy sexual relationship with a woman WITHOUT using condoms for the next two years? Is it possible, or am I just doomed to be a disappointment in bed one way or another? =(
5 Responses
Avatar universal
From the start: there's more than 40 types of HPV. High risk and per se low risk. If you got vaccinated it's possible you got a different strand. also depends on what generation vaccination you got. first generation it hardly covers the high risk but some general warts. 3rd generation covers more and some high risk. High risk are hpv 16\18 cause cancer more than other strands esp when combined.genetal warts are manageable. I had gotten the high risk my OB told me I was going to die. Needless to say I fought it within a 3 year span. Even w ciggs and 3k cal of beer a night.this is the crusher though. Unless you know what strand you have your gf can get vaccinated against the one you have. Resulting in the ability of unprotected sex. But from the looks of it your a guy and I don't know what kind of testing they have for you.
Avatar universal
So I just got back from a routine doctor's appointment, and I asked my doctor several questions about my HPV. Some of her answers surprised me as they were contrary to what I've read online, but I definitely trust an actual doctor over WebMD. Here's what she said:

1) If the warts are removed there should be NO risk of transmission; no need to wait years to have unprotected sex.

2) The HPV vaccine should prevent transmission as well as infection. I assume this is for HPV contracted prior to getting the vaccine (which is what happened to me).

3) The "HPV being fought off by the body" is indeed based on the strain of HPV rather than the particular body's immune system. That is to say, if you have a strain that causes warts and pass it to someone else, they are likely to get warts too.

She also told me to talk to a dermatologist about getting them removed, and that there were procedures other than getting them physically removed (with freezing/lasers/scalpel/etc.) that might work, like various prescription ointments and stuff.

Also, side note, she said that rubbing apple cider vinegar on your warts to remove them does NOT work.
Avatar universal
It's surprising to read this because all online "opinions" suggest that you are contagious all the time...ish.

My private wart doctor told me yesterday that of the wart kind..you are only infectious within 3 months (If at all) of having warts. 95% of infectious cells are within the warts.

Any medical profs...feel free to correct if that is not.

Avatar universal
Sorry for asking question on question but i have some confusion

Does that mean having hpv
strain 6,11 causing genital warts and still  getting vaccinated will help in not spreading of hpv to other?

And no new breakout after 3 months of removing warts means , one can have sex unprotected?

Avatar universal
Hello, I am a homeopathic doctor. It is very difficult to say at this stage. Since, you have lesions and virus can get on the bottle through your saliva. Though HPV transmission requires skin to skin contact but it can also be transmitted through body fluids.  
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