[Question #2361] HPV genital warts exposure

44 months ago
Hi there.  I recently had a sexual encounter with someone with active warts.  He digitally penetrated me after washing his hands and we kissed.  I am concerned about my risk for contracting warts as well as if I can ever be sure that they won't pop up.  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be glad to comment.  Neither kissing not receipt of masturbation from a partner with genital warts are risk factors for acquisition of HPV infection, including genital warts.  I would not worry about he contact that you have described.  .

You do not provide much information about your age or past sexual history.  In the sprit of providing you with information on this topic, I should mention that if you have been sexually active in the past, it is more likely than not that  already have HPV.   Many studies show that when persons become sexually active they acquire HPV very rapidly and that within three years of a person's first sexual encounter over 50% of persons, even those who have had only a single partner, have HPV.  It is now conservatively estimated that over 80% of sexually active Americans have or have had HPV.  The single most effective thing that a person can do to reduce their risk for HPV is to get the HPV vaccine which now covers the nine types of HPV that are most common and prevent 90% of new infections.

I hope this information is helpful.  EWH

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44 months ago
Thank you so much for your response. I am aware that by my age, 41, that most people have already had HPV one or more types. My concern is Contracting HPV that causes genital warts which I have never had that I know of. I'm considering a relationship with someone who is currently having active genital warts for the first time and who has been very sexually active in the past including with  csw. Could you please give advice on what risks this relationship might have and how one could go about having a healthy relationship.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Thanks for the additional information.  The fact that he has disclosed his current warts and that he has had sex with others such as CSWs in the past suggests that you have good communications which is an essential part of a sexually healthy relationship.  I take this as a good sign.

That you have not had genital warts that you are aware of does not mean that you have not had infection with these HPV types before.  Not all persons who get HPV, even the types that can cause visible warts, will themselves have visible warts. further, even if you were to get warts, many experts, including myself, consider genital warts a nuisance rather than a health threat.  They are treatable and they do not lead to cancer as do some of the other HPV types on rare occasions.  We have many patients who have been sexually active with partners with warts who have not themselves developed warts.  If you care for the person you are getting involved with, I would have him get his warts treated, use condoms for the next few months while he is treated and heals and just not worry.  As I have already said, were you to get warts despite the precautions I mention, is really is not that big a deal. 

I hope this perspective is helpful.  EWH
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