In March 2007 I was diagnosed with genital warts (HPV). I was prescribed Aldara, which I used for a few weeks until the warts were gone. I have not had a recurrence of warts after this. Recently I have become involved with a new partner and my fear about genital warts has returned. I have looked closely at the area where I had the warts before and I can feel slightly raised areas (nearly invisible to the naked eye). Is it possible that 1) I did not fully clear the warts before and that they are still there is some reduced capacity, 2) the warts have returned in the same place 3 years later 3) this is some sort of scar where the warts were preivously? I had been told by my local health authority that after three years without a recurrence the virus is generally considered cleared from my body and not transmissable to my partner. Is this accurate? Thanks.
Welcome to our Forum. The topic of HPV and genital warts is a complex one. The question you ask is one that we have had a number of times in the past. I will try to provide some facts. For additional information on this most common of STDs, I would suggest search for other HPV- and wart-related Q&A on this site, as well seeking addition information on sites such as the American Social health Association web-site (disclosure, Dr. Handsfield and I are both on the Board of ASHA).
Once HPV has been successfully treated, the recurrence rate is about 20% with nearly all recurrences occurring within a month or, at the outside, two following resolution. If you choose to seek the opinion of your doctor, I suggest that you have the same person who initially treated you take a look. Given your past experience I suspect you are far more vigilant regarding the possibility of HPV than persons who have not had HPV. In addition, when closely inspected there are many irregularities and "bumps" which can be confused with recurrent warts. When warts recur, they do grow so if the bumps you note are not changing, it is most unlikely that they represent HPV infection. In the vast majority of cases, once warts have resolved, either spontaneously or with therapy if there is no obvious recurrence in 2-3 months following clearance, there is very little chance of recurrence or transmission to sexual partners.
In addition, this might be a good time to consider the HPV vaccine. It is highly effective and that you have had warts in the past does not mean that it will not be helpful to you. Hope this helps. Take care. EWH
Copyright 1994-2018MedHelp.All rights reserved. MedHelp is a division of Vitals Consumer Services, LLC.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.