[Question #2346] Risk of HPV exposure

46 months ago
Good evening,

I am a 25 year old male and I received the Gardasil vaccine at the age of 22. I have never had a HPV-Genital Warts outbreak that I know of, nor have any of my sexual partners ever had an abnormal pap smear or a genital warts outbreak.
Two days ago I received and gave oral sex to a 28 year old female. She neglected to tell me that a year ago she was diagnosed with genital warts and that her last outbreak was about 3 months ago. She got them removed and during our sexual contact I did not notice anything out of the ordinary.We did not have penetrative sex of any kind, though there was "grinding" with clothes on. (I do pardon for the use of language).

What are the chances that she was infectious at the time? Is this sexual scenario cause for concern? Will the vaccine protect me and (finally) do you believe that I should take an HPV Dna Test? 

Thank you for your time and thank you for this service you are providing.
Steve
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
46 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I happened to be on the site soon after your question arrived so you will be receiving your answer more quickly than is our norm.

Before I address your question, let me congratulate you on getting the HPV vaccine.  It is the most effective and efficient way to prevent HPV infection.  I will also congratulate you in talking with your partner about past STIs- this too will go a long way towards both building trust with your partners and keeping you sexually healthy.  Overall, your risk of getting HPV from the exposure you describe is miniscule and should not concern you.

There are several reasons I say this.  First, careful scientific studies have shown that the vaccine is about 90% effective in preventing new HPV infections, including genital warts.  When you combine this with the fact that your exposure was oral sex (oral HPV infections are much less common than genital infections) and the fact that even most unprotected exposures to infected partners do not lead to infection, I would not be concerned that you would have acquired HPV from her performing oral sex on you.

With regard to your performing oral sex on her, again there is little risk for infection.  Your vaccination will you protect you and the fact that she has had her own genital warts treated makes it all the more likely that she was not infectious at the time you had sex. 

I see you reason for you to be concerned about the exposure you describe.  With regard to testing, HPV testing for men is not recommended and there are no approved HPV tests for men, both because the topic has not be well studied and because no one would know what to do with a positive test (clinicians would not treat for a positive test in the absence of visible abnormalities and if there are visible changes, there is no reason to test)

I hope these comments are helpful.  I would not worry at all if I were you.  EWH
 
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46 months ago
Thank you Dr. Hook for your immediate response. Your words have alleviated my anxiety a bit and I am truly grateful for it.

One last question : Due to this event I started reading online about HPV. I keep on finding this quote : "HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of all genital warts."
I understand that the Gardasil vaccine protects me from these two strands. However there is a 10% which remains unaccounted for. Could my partner be infected with another strand that can cause warts or are warts exclusively caused by types 6 and 11?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
46 months ago
Not all warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11.  Different studies provide different estimates of the proportion of genital warts that are caused by HPV types 6 and 11 but most studies would suggest  that an estimate of 90% is a bit low.  That really does not change my sense that your risk for getting HPV from the exposure you describe is very, very low and not something that you should worry about.  EWH
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46 months ago
Thank you again for your words Dr. Hook.
The girl in question has agreed to perform an HPV DNA test in order to see with strain of the virus she has. I will probably purchase another round of questions when that time comes in order to get an experts advice on the results since I believe this is my last allowed post.
Final question : I know its hard to tell and your answer will definitely be a speculation but would someone 3 months post treatment be infectious and are people with a positive HPV dna test infectious all the time?
Thank you again and have a good day.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
46 months ago
I really think you are over reacting to the knowledge that your partner was willing to share with you.  Further, I am not sure how a DNA test on her will help you.  It would be a shame if you ended or compromised a promising relationship on the basis of something so trivial. 

With respect to your question, there is no question that treatment reduced the infectivity of genital warts.  Further, detection of HPV DNA does not mean that it is infectious nor does it even make it likely that you could be infected.  In fact, given your vaccine status, it is quite unlikely that you will be infected following the activities you have described.

I hope my comments and perspective have been helpful to you.  As you know, with this third reply this thread will be closed later today.  I wish you the best.  EWH
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