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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:43 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:04 pm
Posts: 2
Hi,
I was just diagnosed with genital warts and though my doctor has explained they are very common, I am still freaking out a bit!

I am mainly worried about transmission and I don't quite understand how much skin is actually effected. Is it just the tiny area where the couple of warts are located (in my case, on vulva) or is it the whole genital area?

And if the whole gential area, where does that end? I am concerned because recently I recieved a back massage from a guy and he pulled my pants and underwear down at the back to include the top half of my butt in the massage. He may have briefly put his penis against my butt too, but I'm not sure. The rest of my pants/underwear stayed on.

Although I have no warts anywhere near that particular area, is there any chance he could catch HPV from me from an instance like that, for example if he then touched himself?
What about inner thighs, also - should I wear boardshorts instead of just bikinies if I will be in contact with people/hugging at the beach/pool etc?

Thank you for any help or opinions you can offer!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:50 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi surfgal,

It's not likely the entire anal/genital area has HPV, but it's impossible to know just exactly which skin has the virus. Their are probably no worries about hugging or being in close contact with someone at a pool, so wear your regular bathing suit if you like.

Any vaginal or anal sexual contact is probably best done with a condom (which likely offers some protection against HPV), but the situation you describe with the massage doesn't seem like it poses overwhelming risk to the man. Don't worry too much about that one.

You're right in that both HPV and genital warts are common; virtually all sexually active people have at least one case of HPV in their lifetime (and many have more than that). The immune system usually clears the virus naturally in 6-24 months, although of course there can be variation there. Still, long term issues are not the norm.

I hope this helps. Please post again if you have anything else you'd like to chat about, or just want to check in.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:04 pm
Posts: 2
Hi Fredo,
Thanks so much for your response.

I have a bit of an update - I went back to the doctor for pap smear and to get the warts treated and on closer inspetion the doctor said he was not so sure after all that they are warts, and possibly are just bumps of tissue or something simlar.

I just got the results of my pap - all normal.

I also had a HPV DNA test which tested for 12 types of HPV, and was negative for them all.

Given that the doctor wasn't convinced the bumps I have are in fact warts, and I am clear of the 12 (most common?) strains of HPV, how confidant can I be that I don't have the virus and am not contagious?

Thanks again for your help!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:49 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi again,

Yeah, this all leaves you with a lot of uncertainty. The HPV DNA test is usually done just with cell samples from the cervix, and usually they only run the panel that looks for 'high risk' types of HPV. I don't know that tells you much about the external bumps that may or may not be warts.

There isn't much beyond a visual inspection they can do with bumps that might be warts. I'm sorry you're sort of left hanging there. One thing if you do in fact have warts: they're almost always harmless and the HPV that causes them will likely be cleared by your immune system.

I hope this helps, but post again anytime.

Best,
Fredo

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ASHA Moderator


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