[Question #3208] HPV and Shared Underwear

39 months ago
I have genital warts. My son hasn't been vaccinated for HPV. He accidentally wore my underwear all day. I am afraid he may get HPV now from wearing my underwear. Is this possible, to spread HPV by shared underwear?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
39 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

HPV is not transmitted through clothing; this has never been known to occur. HPV also is not transmitted in households -- for example, no risk from sharing toilets, kitchesn, drinking glasses, etc, and no risk from shared underwear or other clothes.

You don't say how old your son is, but he will not be at risk for genital HPV infections until and unless he begins having sex with other persons. Before then, he should be vaccinated, which will prevent him from catching the 9 types of HPV that cause the large majority of genital warts and cancers.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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39 months ago
Thank you, this makes me feel better. My son is 11. At what age can he get the vaccination?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
39 months ago
He can be vaccinated now; CDC and other experts recommend it at age 11 or 12. Your child's pediatrician will know. And by the way, the recommendations recently were changed to only two doses of vaccine instead of three.

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