[Question #5666] HPV Wart - Disclosure after removal and no new warts

19 months ago
Hello. About 3 and a half years ago (maybe closer to 4) I discovered what I thought was a skin tag or natural mole at the base of my penis. I didn't think anything of it since I always use condoms and always test negative for STDS. Fast forward to 9 months ago and I went to a dermatologist for another issue. I mentioned it while I was there and he took a look, saying it looked like a possible HPV wart. He removed it and had it biopsied. 

The results were HPV, but not one of the common strains that are usually tested for (both high risk and low risk). So it was a strain not normally identified (I understand there are 100s of them)  No new warts have shown up since the removal. And at the time it was only that one wart. My question is this: Do I have to disclose to new partners given this information? (condoms or no condoms) I don't want to unnecessarily worry anyone if I don't need to. In other words, am I still infectious, or have the potential to infect others, even though I haven't had new warts?  There is mixed literature on the subject. For what it's worth, I had sex with multiple partners while the wart was present (not knowing it was a wart of course) and none of them have mentioned anything to me since then. Also, some additional information just in case: I have psoriasis as well (elbows, scalp, behind ears, and a few patches on the top region of my penis)  Thank you!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
Welcome to the forum.  In general we do not feel that disclosure of past HPV infection is essential for infected persons.  This topic has been discussed on multiple occasions and I encourage you to review some of them. In your situation, you had a solitary wart apparently due to a less common HPV type which was removed and has not recurred.  Further, since the wart was at the base of your penis, it was not in an area where contact and abrasion were as frequent of intense as it would have been had it been on the penile shaft.
 
I see no reason for disclosure of this wart to past and certainly not to future sex partners.  EWH
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19 months ago
Thank you Dr. Hook! 

Follow up question 1: 

I'm 30 year old male, and have had about 34 partners, most of which while using condoms except for maybe a few instances I can count on two hands. 

Is it beneficial for me to get the vaccine?

Thank you!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
 You ask an excellent question. If I may rephrase it in a more general way the question becomes is there a number of sexual partners beyond which the HPV vaccine does little good.  We do know that with increasing numbers of partners the proportion of persons who are infected with HPV increases. We also know that condoms reduce the risk for acquisition of HPV.    In your case and given the numbers of partners that you mention it is more likely than not that you have acquired some types of HPV in the past. On the other hand it is not likely that you have acquired all of the HPV types found in the current HPV  vaccine which now covers the nine most common causes of HPV that causes genital infection.  We also know that the vaccine is highly effective for prevention of HPV types which you have not had in the past.  We also know that the HPV vaccine is the not only highly affective but safe.  

 The US FDA has recently increased the age range for which HPV vaccination is permitted to 45 years.    Thus, in my opinion, if there are not other barriers to you receiving the vaccine, I would encourage you to get it. I realize that cost ($400.00-$600.00) may sometimes  represent a barrier.    Obviously, this is a decision you will need to make for yourself but I hope that the information I have provided will be useful to you in your decision making.  EWH
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19 months ago
Thank you for the thoughtful reply.. I will use this information!

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
Glad I could be helpful. EWH---