[Question #2043] hpv

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83 months ago

Hello Dr,

I am a 30 year old virgin. For my 30 birthday, my friends got me a CSW. I had sex with her with a condom for about 10 minutes. I have been reading that everybody gets HPV but amwondering what my odds are from this event and I am still concerned with this exposure and especially developing the actual warts

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

My first thought is to congratulate you for having safe sex in this situation, i.e. wearing a condom. Good move!

There are no data on which to estimate the risk of HPV infection from any single exposure, with or without a condom. The odds are good that your CSW partner has genital HPV, but you can say the same thing about any woman in her 20s (only guessing her age, of course) -- the frequency isn't any higher in CSWs than in the average sexually active single woman. Condom's aren't perfect in preventing HPV, because of skin contact above the condom, but they're pretty good for any single exposure. In any case, STDs are transmitted inefficiently -- that is, most episodes of sex with infected partners do not result in transmission of the infection.

Considering all these factors, as a very rough guess, I think there's under a 1% chance you caught HPV from this exposure. If you did, the chances are it wasn't a wart-causing type. (Of the 100+ HPV types that infect the genital area, only two types, HPV6 and 11, account for almost 90% of warts. Finally, warts should be viewed as an unpleasant inconvenience, but not an important health problem. It isn't something to lose sleep about.

I hope these perspectives are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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83 months ago
So what I get out of this , there is under a 1 % chance of getting HPV and if I did , it would be around 1 percent chance it is the kind to cause warts . I've also read that if warts do develop , it takes from 2-4 months with the average time of three months and by 6 months , the majority of the people would of developed them 
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
First, understand that my estimate of a 1% risk is extremely rough. The chance you were infected might be 10% or more. Of all HPV infections, probably roughly 10% are HPV 6 or 11, the main wart causing types* -- at least a lot higher than 1%. And warts often take more than 6 months to develop; better to think of the interval as being up to a year.

But I think you have correctly interpreted the main take-home message:  the chance is very low you will have warts or any other HPV-related health outcome from this particular sexual event. Assuming your first sexual experience with another person isn't your last, you definitely can expect to be infected with HIV somewhere along the line. Almost everybody is. But you could consider vaccination to protect you from the 9 types that collectively cause 90% of genital warts and 90% of HPV related cancers. Although you are beyond the normally recommended age limit (26), your situation is atypical in not having started sexual activity at a younger age, and most doctors would understand this and would be happy to vaccinate you (although health insurance coverage beyond age 26 is less certain).

* In my initial reply, I think you misinterpreted the statement about 100+ HPV types as meaning that all of these are equally frequent. Most are rare; 9 HPV types (the ones covered in the vaccine) together account for 60-70% of all infections.
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83 months ago
 My final question is I look back did some research and three months ago a lot of the answers on this website was , for 2 to 4 months for watts  specially Dr. Hook ,?is that study recent? I'm just trying to figure why the one year mark is now being brought up 
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
Estimates for time to onset of warts after exposure are all over the map, and mostly they are just that, estimates -- not the result of controlled research. It's probably true that most new warts appear after 2-4 months, but that's the average; it isn't rare for it to take 6 months and sometimes it's a year or more. In some responses, we might give the usual/average, whereas some anxious persons want to know not the average, but the maximum time they might want to be on the alert. I assumed you to be in the latter category.

That completes the three replies included with each initial question, and hence concludes this thread. My final advice is to mellow out and not worry so much about HPV or warts. These are trivial health problems that are not worth so much concern!

I hope the discussion has been helpful. Take care and stay safe.

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