[Question #934] HPV - Recurrence
60 months ago
I was diagnosed with genital warts in 2012. I had a few recurrences but the warts eventually cleared within the 2 year timeframe. Then to my knowledge, I had not had any recurrences since (I'm guessing I had been clear for the past two years or so). Just recently, I had found a very small bump near the base of my shaft so I decided to get it checked out by my dermatologist. At the time, he wasn't sure it was a wart (he thought it could've been a hair follicle gland that just didn't have any hair). For peace of mind, I requested that he biopsy and test it.
He said that his pathologists confirmed that it was in fact a wart. They tried to test it and determine which strain of hpv it was, however, he said the tests couldn't pick up anything which he was guessing was because it was so small. He made it sound as though the pathologists determined it was a wart solely based off appearance under the microscope.
Here are my questions:
1. Is there a chance the pathologist is incorrect in the diagnosis since it was based off of appearance under a microscope and not actual tests?
2. I have been dating my girlfriend for a few months and we had been using condoms until very recently where we started having unprotected sex the last couple weeks. She had the gardasill shots roughly 5 years ago. What are the odds of her being infected at this point? Am I any less contagious because the tests couldn't pick up the hpv strain in the tests?
3. What sexual precautions would you recommend moving forward? Or would you not recommend sex right now? (For what it's worth, the previous girl I dated through all of my wart outbreaks also had the gardasil shots and to my knowledge she did not ever have any visible outbreaks)
4. Since this has come back years later, does this mean anything for future recurrences? Everything that I had read/been told led me to believe that they were likely gone forever after such a long time without an outbreak. Does this mean I will be more likely to have future recurrences?
Also, my immune system is not compromised in anyway. I'm a healthy 29 year old. My biggest vice is drinking socially on the weekends.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
60 months ago