[Question #3143] Had an exposure Gential Warts

40 months ago
Hello,

First thank you for you help and knowledge. 

I recently made a terrible mistake. I had protected Viginal sex and unprotected oral sex with a man.  After he shared he had warts a couple years ago and from time to time would still get them.  Am I doomed? What are the odds that I did not contrap this hpv virus? The encounter was 45 days ago.  I read as a smoker my chances are even greater. 

Sincerely,
Stressed
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll try to help.  I do not think the encounter you describe qualifies as a terrible mistake and I am confident that you are not doomed.  Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) of which there are many different types.  Most (over 80%) sexually active persons who have not received the HPV vaccine will acquire this virus and suffer no meaningful consequences.  In fact, even without therapy, most HPV infections go away in the year or so after they have been acquired. In a minority of persons, the virus can evolve over years or even decades to cause genital tract cancer.  These cancers can be detected early an treated in women who see their gynecologist for Pap smears and routine examination on a regular basis.

In addition, I would add that most single exposures to infected partners (and you do not even know that your partner had active infection at the time you had sex with him) do not lead to infections and this is particularly true following oral sex.  Thus, if you have been sexually active in the past, you have probably had HPV and not known it (not all HPV infections cause visible warts) and if you did not have it, it is statistically unlikely that you acquired it from the episode you describe.  Further, irrespective of whether or not you acquired HPV, having regular gynecological check ups will assure you that you are not going to get cancer from HPV. 

One more comment about smoking.  I realize smoking is a tough addition to handle but it is costly (do the math- is there something you could use the money you spend on cigarettes for?), and harmfully to your lung health.  It does also slightly increase the risk for genital tract cancer but not hugely. 

I hope this information is helpful to you.  Please do not worry about the exposure you have described.  It is unlikely that you acquired HPV and if you have it, it is also unlikely that it will cause you harm, particularly if you get regular GYN check-ups every few years.  EWH
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40 months ago
Doctor Hook,

Thank you for your response and pleasant word. I hope that your new year was enjoyable. I did follow up with the individual and asked does he have a active gential warts. He was unsure and said he did have 2 gential warts between his testicales and thigh. I’m not sure if this would be active or if this would change that likelyhood of my one sexual encounter with him(protected virginal and unprotected oral. 

Thanks you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Thanks for your follow-up.  The additional information does not change my assessment or advice.  I would add however that the location you describe as being ossible warts is an unusual for genital worts to occur but is a place where benighn skin tags are common.  either way, I would not worry, as explained above.  EWH
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39 months ago
You have been helpful! 

My last followup. 

I had the male sexual encounter get check and he has some gential warts on his shaft as well. The doctor took a look with a vinegar solution as well as could visually see.

My question to you is. Gential Warts and single exposures. Why is the these exposure tend to not lead to transmission? I have heard this a few times. I am trying to wrap my mind around it.

Kindly 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
I don't doubt hat your partner had HPPV, most people do. FYI, the "vinegar test" has many false positve results.

As for your question about single exposures, please remember that for all infectious diseases, the "attack rate" is typically a fraction of the exposures.  This is a biological principle.  Every time you re around someone with the flu or a cold you don't get their infection either.  Factors which change infectious disease transmission include the numbers of exposures, the sites of exposures, the numbers of infectious viruses or bacteria present, how the infected person is fighting their infection, etc. 

I hope this helps.  As you know, this is my third response so this thread will be closed in a few hours.  Take care. EWH
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