[Question #3149] HPV Disclosure and Transmission

40 months ago
Good Morning Doctors
I was diagnosed with Anal Wart about 2 years ago. Since then I have been extremely anxious about never ever being able to be in a relationship since in my mind I'm tainted and infectious. I hope you can help me move pass this by answering my question. Since being diagnosed with Anal HPV the recurrence in wart has become less and less. The most recent case was about last month when I went to see my colorectal surgeon because I notice a very small bump that develop I couldn't tell if it was a skin tag or a wart. My surgeon told me it was a wart but it been over 6 months since I had any recurrence so I was skeptical.  Below are my question.
1) I'm a gay men If I enter into a relationship should I disclose my diagnosed of have Anal Wart to my partner this causes me great anxiety and I feel like it will ruin any potential relationship I might possible have with anyone in the future due to the stigma and education about the virus.
2) I have never develop any wart or lesion of any sort on my penis is it safe to say that I don't have genital hpv ?
3) Can the wart in my anus spread to my genital ?
4) If you recommend no disclosure and my partner penis come into contact with my anus will I infect him and thus cause him to get genital hpv this will absolutely devastate me. Or should I not worry about this and engage in sexual activity as if I never was diagnosed with Anal Wart ?
5) I visit the website http://www.helpforhpv.com/combination-thearpy/ and they reconmmend interferon treatment it will cost around $6000 is it worth it ?
Thank You for taking the time to answer the question. I hope you answer will allow me to move with my life and thus I will stop torturing myself with this diagnoses 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago

Welcome to the Forum. I will try to help.  Our perspective on ano-genital warts adn HPV infection is quite different from yours. Virtually all sexually active personss acquire HPV at some time in their lives (even those who are monogamous!)  and from a medical perspective for all but a fraction (a small fraction of 1%) of those who infected the disease is nothing more than a nuisance- sometimes cosmetically, sometimes otherwise.  Further, most warts/HPV infections are self limited and go away even without therapy over time.  Thus, if the idea that HPV is an STI upsets you, we urge you to get over that idea.  As noted above, virtually all sexually active persons get this chronic viral infection so, unless you are feeling guilty because you have had sex with more than a single partner in your life, for practical purposes, this is just part of being a sexually active person.  It is for these reasons that we continue to urge our clients not to get overwrought by the possibility of an HPV infection and to not feel a need to disclose of their infections to sexual partners who, like so many, are likely to over react and be mis-informed about their infection. Odds are any future sexual partners you have already have HPV as well.  With this background, let's address your questions.


1) I'm a gay men If I enter into a relationship should I disclose my diagnosed of have Anal Wart to my partner this causes me great anxiety and I feel like it will ruin any potential relationship I might possible have with anyone in the future due to the stigma and education about the virus.
We do not encourage clients to disclose if they have had warts or HPV in the past.  As noted above, whether they know it or not, it is likely that future partners already have or have had HPV infection because of the possibility that partners might over react to your disclosure.

2) I have never develop any wart or lesion of any sort on my penis is it safe to say that I don't have genital hpv ?
Actually, I would guess it is likely that you have HPV infection which does not present as a wart.  Most sexually active people will.

3) Can the wart in my anus spread to my genital ?
Unlikely.

4) If you recommend no disclosure and my partner penis come into contact with my anus will I infect him and thus cause him to get genital hpv this will absolutely devastate me. Or should I not worry about this and engage in sexual activity as if I never was diagnosed with Anal Wart ?
Yes, that is precisely what I would suggest- engage in normal sexual activity, acting as though you did not know that you had HPV (or conversely, assume that like you, everyone else does)

5) I visit the website http://www.helpforhpv.com/combination-thearpy/ and they reconmmend interferon treatment it will cost around $6000 is it worth it ?
No, I would not recommend this.  Interferon therapy is quite expensive and no more effective than other far less costly therapies.  Further, in most people the warts will go away even without therapy over time. 

I hope these comments are helpful to you.  EWH
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40 months ago
Thank You for replying to my question it has help me tremendously in answering all of my question.
A follow-up question for question 4.
Can you go into more detail on why you think I should engage in normal sexual activity as though I don't have the wart. What if my partner get genital hpv because, his penis came into contact with anus ?  Would that be ethical ? Can I still transmit the virus to my partner and cause him to get genital hpv ?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
This is a repetitive question and the answer will not change.    Please re-read my earlier response.  HPV is a nuisance which most people had.  Worrying about transmitting it is not practical for all of the reasons I mentioned earlier.  EWH
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40 months ago
One last follow-up question. Can it be safe to assume that I'm clear of the virus now ? What are my chances of transmitting the wart to another person ?

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Final responses:

There are no studies that inform you about the per exposure risk for HPV infection.  Part of the reason for this is because so many people have it that transmission studies are difficult to perform.

I cannot answer the question about whether or not you have HPV at this time.  Your surgeon recently told you that you had a wart. You are skeptical that he is correct.  I have not examined you and thus cannot comment on this.

As per Forum guidelines, I have now replied three times to your questions.  As a result, this thread will be closed later today.  I wish you the best.  Please do not worry.  EWH
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