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HPV Questions

I have a few questions regarding HPV.  I was diagnosed with genital warts about a month ago.  I had 2 tiny warts (one in the public hair line and directly below) and promptly had them frozen off.  My skin is currently healing up and am using Aldara on those areas.
Is the fact that I had a relatively small outbreak (I
14 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Was your health care provider certain about the diagnosis?  I'm what you mean by "pubic hair line and directly below".  If the upper pubic hair line (lower abdomen), maybe not warts at all; they rarely occur in the pubic area.  Maybe molluscum contagiosum?  Many non-expert docs confuse the two.  If you mean lower pubic hair, i.e. base of the penis, warts are possible.  Anyway, the rest of my replies assume the diagnosis is correect.

As far as I know, the number of warts doesn't predict future recurrence.  You might be at lower risk for recurrence than someone with, say, 20 warts--but I wouldn't assume that.

I am unaware of any research showing that slower resolution of HPV type 1 infections (the cause of most plantar and hand warts) predicts more problems with HPV-6, -11, and other causes of genital warts.  My guess is it probably doesn't correlate.

There are differing opinions on the ethical obligation to tell future partners of past HPV infections; the very fact that it's a moral question predicts that there won't be complete agreement.  My personal judgment is that you should inform partners in the next 3-4 months, but if after then you have had no recurrences, you can safely assume your immune system has cleared the HPV infection and no longer need inform partners.  But there is a non-moral dimension to your question, one of simple pragmatics:  How will you feel if you don't tell and a partner comes back to you 6 weeks later and say "You gave me warts."  Wouldn't it be better to take the risk up front rather than deal with such a situation later?

Research on HPV vaccines is very promising, and one or more vaccines may be on the market in 2-3 years.  One vaccine will protect only against the common "high-risk" types that often cause cancer and pre-cancerous changes in the cervix; the other company's product will also protect against the most common wart-causing types.  These vaccines will not treat existing infection.

There isn't anything you can do to prevent future outbreaks, but the risk is low after a few weeks or months.  Very few infected people keep having outbreaks for years.

I can't say anything about the bump on your penis--but it doesn't sound like a wart.  If it doesn't change or grow, forget about it.

Returning to my first point, go back and search out the forum messages and my responses on molluscum contagiosum.  See if that infection matches your symptoms.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you for quick reply.
I have had molluscum in that area before about a year and a half ago. Didn't look like it.
The first wart was at the base of my penis. It was biopsed and came back as a wart.  The second growth was about an inch above the base of my penis in my lower pubic hair line.  It started as a yellowish flat discoloration on my skin and over the course of a week, became dark colored and raised. My doctor assumed it was a wart also and froze it off.  Does this sound like a wart to you ?
I can't tell you how much your frank answers to these questions help me and everyone else.
239123 tn?1267651214
Thanks for the kind comments.

Given your description and your doctor's apparent certainty, I think you had warts.  But if there is persistence or recurrence after Aldara, get it checked out again.

Avatar universal
First of all I would like to say you have literally been a life saver regarding HPV, thank you.  I've been trying to post here for two weeks but never seem to make it so I'll give it a go here.

I have read every single post on this forum, and I am a little confused about some of the things you have stated about HPV disappearing for good and when it
Avatar universal
Important typo in paragraph 5 of the above comment:  HPV, not HIV.


Avatar universal
Dr. Handsfield thank you for the follow-up, I hope you aware that the time you spend answering these questions and sharing your medical expertise truly makes dramatic differences in our lives, including mine, I can't thank you enough.  The amount of unreliable, misinformed and confusing information disseminated  on the internet is astounding.  Do you take donations or recommend a charity I might donate to show my appreciation?  

I have had the same sex partner for 2 1/2 years, and we use a condom because she doesn't like taking the pill.  Before that, I had not had sex for 4 years, and before that, I always wore a condom.  I have never had intercourse without a condom, so that's why I believe it was skin to skin contact and most of my warts are concentrated under the pubic hair above the shaft of my penis, we also did a lot of "grinding" as that stimulated her clitoris.  So that's my (***)umption.

So 6 months after my warts disappear, I won't think about or mention HPV to anyone or a future partner again, of course unless I see a visual recurrence of warts, I went out today and bought a magnifying glass too, but I promise not to obssess about it :)  THANKS AGAIN!
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