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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

Recently diagnosed

I'm a gay uncircumcised male. For one month I had 2 small bumps on the shaft of my penis near the tip of the foreskin. It was diagnosed and treated today with some acid stuff and a long tooth pick stick. My doctor didn't seem too concerned. I'm completely ignorant to this infection, and I have questions, so please bear with me.

1. How serious is this, can it lead to more serious problems? How concerned should I be?

2. What could have caused this? Do condoms protect against it? I only have protected anal sex and I've received unprotected oral sex a handful of times.
3. Will treatment leave a scar?

4. I masturbated daily before treatment, could I have spread it to other parts of my penis or body parts?

5. How common is this in men?

6. What are the chances that this will return or that I will have a recurring episode?

7. What all do I need to know about this?

Thank you guys sooo much!
10 Responses
1609501 tn?1299205202
Your questions are welcome :)

1. Don't worry, HPV is very common and most sexually active adults will have this in their lifetime.

2. Condoms are only about 90% effective but still you should always use them. HPV is spread via skin to skin gential contact so just playing/grinding nude can lead to transmission.

3. There is some scaring for a while but with time it is not noticeable and really how much do we go around with our gentials out for people to see?

4. Yes you can spread it but I masturbate often and have not had this happen at all. I am careful with respect to washing my hands, wiping and cleaning myself as I don't want to deal with warts in my anal area. Don't worry about getting warts anywhere other than genital/anal area as it is just not a big risk.

5. Very common in both men and women. We are in one big club!

6. There is no way to know your risk for how long it will take for your warts to go away for good. In some people one treatment does it and in others it takes several. The norm is that the immune system will supress it within 24 months. Most people never have issues after that but a few have flare ups. You can get a new strain and have new symptoms.

You have covered the basics with your questions. The most important take away is that prevention is key so always tell your docs about your history with HPV and get your yearly medical and dental exams on time. Always use protection when you are not in a safe committed relationship to help protect against all STD's. With HPV there is way too much scary info out there and it just isn't that scary, it's common and much like warts on the hands and feet. Simply a skin condition. Don't smoke, limit drinking, eat healthy, take vit's and exercise to help boost your immune system and do not stress out! :) While you have warts you are contagious so take care with sex. You can spread HPV by touching yourself then a partners gentials or the same for them. After your warts are gone you wait 3 to 6 months and then if you have no new warts you can assume it is safe to have sex without disclosure. In the future you can choose if you want to let lovers know about your history or not. Once you have a strain of HPV you have it for life and when a partner has it you can't bounce it between you. Don't shave where you have warts this can cause them to spread, just trim close til they are gone. If you are young enough get the vaccines!

Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your feedback. It means a lot. Today was a heavy-handed day. First bin Laden and now this. Is it justified to feel a bit depressed by this? I know you say hpv is very common, so is it safe to say I'm being overly-dramatic? If you don't mind, I have some follow-up questions:

1. Is there anything I can/should do to maintain or expedite the healing process? Should I use soap when I take a shower?

2. You said I shouldn't shave. Did u mean while the warts are there or just generally speaking?

3. So can it be spread even though there's no active warts? If it does spread, how long will it take for the new warts to appear?

4. I'm having a hard time pin pointing how I got them since my activities seem like low risk (received unprotected oral a few times and only engaged in protected anal) so could I have gotten it from an inanimate object, like a toilet seat?

5. So in order for me to have gotten them, my partner would've had to have warts present at the time, right?

6. I regret not having done research first before I got treatment because I really don't like the fact that there's a chance for scaring. So is there any treatment that won't result in scaring but is still as effective as those methods? Like a cream or pills?

7. When can I masturbate, again?

8. Even if these 2 warts go away with one treatment, should I expect to get new warts for the next 24 months?

9. What does the vaccine do?

10. Are you a nurse or just a knowledgeable carrier?

Thanks again for everything.  
1609501 tn?1299205202
Little depressions are a normal part of life. :)

1. Living healthy, eating healthy, exercise and vits will help because they boost the immune system. So does sunlight and reducing stress. Smoking is a big no no with HPV. I am currently not drinking til mine is dormant.

2. Just don't shave the area where you have warts, shaving the rest of your body that you normally shave is fine.

3. Warts can be spread when someone has a wart causing strain but not actual warts. I don't know why this is and there is no way to know time frames.

4. It is very unlikely to get warts from something like a toilet seat but with HPV there are always unknowns. Really a lot is still not known about HPV even though it has been around for 1000's of years, even found in ancient Greece.

5. No, just an active low risk strain.

6. I don't know a lot about this but I wouldn't worry about scaring, with time that will go away.

7. Now, hehe...If you are having some issues with healing from treatment then wait til that is gone and enjoy.

8, Everyone is different but treating early is good as it usually means less treatments are needed. For me I did 4 acid treatments, one a week. Each week I would get new warts. Now I have been doing Aldara at home 3 times a week and have had no new warts past one the first week.

9. The vaccine helps protect you from the strains that carry the highest risk for cancer as well as the one most common for warts.

10. In Jan. my pap came back abnormal. This meant I had cell changes or dyplasia due to high risk HPV. I was scared out of my mind with what I found online but this site was the saving grace! I also tested positive for low risk and found my warts on my own. It took me 3 doc visits to have the docs agree I had warts and start treatment. I am the type that needs to educate myself and that helped me deal with the fears associated with HPV so now I try to help others. :)


Avatar universal
Thanks again! You are providing much needed relief with your knowledge. It means a lot! Ok, I still have some questions. So, if I'm annoying you, let me know.

1. The vaccine: you said if I'm young enough I should get it. I'm 26. What's the age limit? Why is it not recommended for someone of a particular older age?

2. HPV: does that specifically mean 'warts on genital area' or warts in general on any part of the body. I used to have around 6 warts on my hand when I was younger. Is that hpv?

3. What's aldara? Should I get it? Is it presciption only?

4. I noticed that the skin around the warts is black. Is this common after treatment? How long should it take for the warts to disappear?

5. You said you got tested for hpv. Well, my doctor visually diagnosed me. Should I get tested to see if I have high/low levels or if their prone to cancerous cells?  

6. Are genital warts considered an std?

7. Why is a dental check up important for hpv? Is it because it can be transmitted orally? Is there any bigger health risk with having oral hpv?

8. I heard soap irritates genital warts. Should I just run water over it? Should I not mess with it?

Thank you soooooooooooooooo much!!!! Again, sorry for all the questions. My doctor pretty much rushed me out of her office without giving me a chance to think and ask questions.
1609501 tn?1299205202
No you are not annoying me :)

`. They just don't think it is effective for people over the age of 26, so if you are considering getting it you should consult a doc soon. It's called Gardasil. If you have insuranse I don't know if it is covered. It claims to protect 90% of gentail cases in males.

2. Yes HPV means Human Papillomavirus and is a virus that causes all warts. It is the type of strain that determines where it effects. Gential strains cause gential symptoms. There are # associated with the strains and some are high risk (cause cell changes) or lower risk (cause warts).

3. Aldara is a cream medicine that is used to treat warts. You would need to see a doc to get the rx.

4. My experience is more with vaginal skin..as I have a vagina. :) I have noticed men tend to have a bit worse experience with skin irritation post some treatments. You could call the docs office and ask them if this is normal and there is no way to know how long it would take as we all react differently. The main norm is that all symptoms are usually gone within 24 months. I can tell you that for a month while having acid treatments I was getting new warts each week and that treatment was killing those off. Then I had the first big wart still when I started Aldara and got one new one the first week between acid and the rx. I have been doing Aldara for about 5 weeks and have not had any new warts and little change to the two I have. I have had warts for at least 3.5 months that I know of. My exposure was 6.5 months ago so it took me 3 months to find my symptoms and become aware I have HPV's. I have both high and low risk strains from this and mild cell changes on my cervix.

5. They don't usually test men, women find out because they have abnormal paps showing cell changes. Otherwise many women would never know they had high risk strains. Men usually find out when they find they have warts. It might be costly for testing, talk to your doc about this and see if it is an option. I don't know a lot about testing men so educate me with what you find out.

6. More of an STI as it is an infection not a disease. Regardless of that label there is no reason to feel bad, ashamed or guilt. Somewhere in 80 to 90% of sexually active adults will have HPV in their lifetime. It has been found as far back as ancient Greece. It was considered to be sexually transmitted before they knew it was because women who were virgins for life, like nuns rarely had cervical cancers and women who were married to men who's first wife died from cervical cancer had higher rates of it too. This is because they didn't have yearly paps and all the procedures to treat early not allowing the risk of cancer. Bascially, this is a part of the human experience and we are just in the club.

7. No there is a very low risk with oral issues and I am still learning about this. Honestly that is where I worried the most but that was my own anxiety. I just tell people to always get their dental exams because it's a dentist that is trained to look at the whole mouth for issues and if you ever did have an issue then you want to catch it early. That being said if you did then most likely they could treat it and you wouldn't have any progression. Oral issues tend to be bigger with people who have serious illness, immune system issues and heavy smokers/drinkers. This is over a long period of time, not like you have a bad cold and feel like your immune system is weak or you have a few extra glasses of wine on the weekend.

8. I use soaps with no issues. I use a body wash over a hard soap. I really have so little issues with my warts I don't even notice they are there til I have to treat.

I have had the same experience with my GYN docs. I got more info from the nurses than the docs. I would go in each week with my little lists of questions and only get limited answers. Look at Ashastd .org it's a great site for info.
Avatar universal
Thanks again! Is there a type of doctor that you can recommend whose expertise is with hpv and its potentiality with cancer? My doctor doesn't seem very helpful and seems bothered by me. I was fine with the idea of having hpv, then I came across an article that said that gay men with hpv have a higher chance of getting anal cancer. I became more freaked out when I suddenly remembered that I let the guy who MAY have given it to me rub his genitals on my anus. (I've never been on the receiving end of anal sex. That was my closest encounter. TMI, I know, sorry) So, now I'm wondering if there's a way to check if I have warts inside my anus? Again, he NEVER went inside of me, he just grinded the area. In your first response to me you said I shouldn't worry about having hpv. If it can cause cancer, shouldn't that warrant concern? Or did you mean I shouldn't worry as long as I stay healthy and have yearly medical check ups? Do you know if having general hpv can lead to anal cancer or if having hpv in anus can lead to anal cancer? Or both?
Thanks again. You are the only person keeping me at peace. It means the world to me!
FYI: I'm not going anywhere else outside of this website to research HPV. There's a lot of scary info out there and I don't want to live in fear. The article that I was reading about anal cancer from hpv appeared on my twitter timeline. It just came to me not vice versa.  
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