[Question #6814] GW transmission

12 months ago
In 2011,  I had 2 small bumps on my penis, near the head, that were identified as GW.  Through the use of  Aldara, imiquimod they cleared up after about 3 months. I have not had any recurrence since then, so now close to 9 years without a GW. 

I am 28 and I have a newish partner of 25, my question is what is the risk of transmission to her if we had unprotected sex?  I am her 2nd partner and want to be careful. 

Should I be concerned about transmitting to her?   Can I assume that with 9 years GW free that I have cleared the virus?

Thanks so much.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
12 months ago

Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your question.  I'll be glad to comment.  Your genital wart treatment appears to have been successful as indicated by the fact that the lesions have now not recurred for almost a decade.  While research now indicates that there may be a small chance that residual evidence of your past HPV infection could be used using sophisticated scientific tests, there is little risk that your infection will recur or, most importantly, that you are likely to transmit it to others.  Unprotected sex should not put her at risk related to your prior warts. 

On the other hand, both you and your partner are at ages when it is recommended that you should receive the HPV vaccine. Given your partner's age, there is a more that 50% chance that she has received the HPV vaccine which is well tolerated and very effective for prevention of the HPV infections and their consequences.  Have you asked her?

As for you, vaccination rates are unfortunately lower for men than women but the fact is the vaccine is also highly effective for men.  Health insurance will often cover its cost as well.

I hope that these comments are helpful to you. The issues surrounding HPV are complex.  If there are further questions or any of my reply is unclear, please don't hesitate to use your up to two additional follow-up questions for clarification EWH

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12 months ago
Thanks you so much for your reply Dr. Hook.  It is clear from your reply that the chances of passing GW on in my case ( with nearly 10 years without a recurrence)  is minimal and so there is very little risk to my partner becoming infected.

I will now discuss with her and work towards getting the  vaccine.

Thanks a lot, very helpful to hear from the experts rather than researching GW on the internet with all the different opinions there.

Regards
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
12 months ago
Please for your thanks. They are appreciated. In addition let me enthusiastically endorse your decision not to seek information on this topic on the Internet. It will only mislead you and create confusion. Take care EWH---