[Question #3087] Worried...

38 months ago
Hello Doctor,

I am writing you with a concern. I recently gave oral sex to someone(m) who I found out later had gential warts. First out break for them was 2.5 years ago. Didn’t believe they still have any warts. Could be wrong there. 

What are the chances I now have them orally? I am worried. Are there any statistics?
Thank you very much
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
38 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I will try to help, primarily by trying to provide perspective on your situation as there is no good research to answer your questions.  To summarize the message I am trying to provide, I would suggest you are at low risk for infection from this particular exposure and very low risk for any health related complication from the problem unless you are a smoker (more on that below).  Below I have listed a number of facts which I believe are relevant to your situation:

1.  Your partner had warts in the past, not now.  They have either been treated or resolved.  Either way, there is little risk that transmission is going to occur from a person who has resolved their infection.
2.  Most exposures to sex partners with STIs, including HPV (warts) do not lead to infection. 
3.  Oral HPV is far less common than genital infections.  We estimate that over 80% of sexually active adults have genital HPV while the most recent studies suggest that 7-9% of U.S. men have oral infections.
4.  Even when infection is present, most infections do not lead to problems. the major problem related to oral HPV is oral cancer and only a tiny proportion of ral HPV infections go on to cancer.  Most infections, go away, on their own, without therapy.  The risk for going on to cancer, is very low but slightly higher among persons who smoke or chew tobacco than those who do not. 

Thus, to summarize, there is little risk that you acquired oral HPV from the exposure you described.  I would not worry. EWH
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38 months ago
Thank You! I did some reading and had one more question.  Have I read correct information, most people who contrap gential wart virus of HPV (in most causes is hpv 6 and 11), do not develope gential warts or any other symptoms. 

Thank you for clearing up this question
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
38 months ago
You are correct, while most visible genital warts are due to HPV 6 or 11, not all persons with HPV 6 or 11 will have visible lesions.  This in no way changes the fact that you are not at major risk for oral HPV infections.  EWH
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