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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:30 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
So here is my story. I was diagnosed with Genital Warts in June 09', my girlfriend noticed a small one in December 08'. I had about 6 warts total. Several were covered by hair so the dermatologist only froze 3 of them. Now I have about 10, but he said that usually after freezing you will develop more. Eventually, this is supposed to stop and the warts stop coming up so quickly. He called in a prescription for Aldara and luckily 8 of my warts are all in one spot abou an inch in diameter so I can hit em with the Aldara. Its been 12 weeks with the Aldara and they have decreased about 60%. He did mention that I didn't have very many and that is a very very good sign. My girlfriend was sitting there with me we had broken up for about two months and she didn't see anyone, and I did and had sex and ended up with this. Luckily, since we've been together for over three years with the exception of those two months, she was very understanding. The dermatologist told her that she most likely had been exposed, so we went to see her gynecologist. She tested negative for high risk, but her Dr said she thought she had it because she recently started complaining of pain on insertion during intercourse. Sorry for the excessive detail. Anways, to make this more interesting we had started going to church right about the time we were diagnosed. We agreed to stop having sex until we're married, which has been hard, but thats another subject. However, her gynecologist told her that since we're not tearing warts open during sex, it may help us not have more warts develop. She also said that you cannont reinfect your partner, so thats not a worry. I just figure that we're killing two birls with one stone. Since we probably won't get married for another three years and 90% of people clear up in two. Its not December yet so I still have another year and two months until I hit 24 months since the first wart appeared.

However, here lies my problem. I have OCD. Two things trigger it, my grandfather and HPV. I really got my OCD under control by taking Celexa and that drastically helped, infact, I hardly even noticed it anymore. Then I was diagnosed. Luckily, I was able to tell my dad about this, we're very close and my girlfriend talked to him about it as well. There is no way I could tell my mom. I'm 22 years old. I've read on the CDC that its not transmitted through inanimate objects, but I still worry about several things. I was hoping to get some reassurance on here. As this is a social support board. My dad has been very helpful and so has my girlfriend, but still would like to ask my questions on here. Because I feel like a lot of stuff is "dirty".

1) If I go to the gym to work out and sweat, and sit on a piece of exercise equipment, does that spread HPV? I know its skin to skin, but if the sweat was on my skin and moved to the equipment?
2) Saliva, if I brush my teeth and don't wash my hands, can I spread the virus that way?
3) If I go to the restroom and urinate, then button my pants and belt, then wash my hands, I still feel like my belt is dirty? Any input there?
4) My dermatologist told me that I should wash my hands after restroom trips, sex (which isn't happening right now), after putting my dirty towels in the washer, and when I get out of the shower. Allow me to elaborate. In the shower, I have a towel rack, I throw my dirty wash rag in the shower floor, dry off, genitals last, fold my towel over and pick up the wash rag and lay it in the shower floor. I get out of the shower I have a clean wash rag waiting on me. I take it and open the bathroom door and put my dirty towel and washrag in the hamper, and then take the clean wash rag and turn the water faucet on and wash my hands. However, I feel like the shower floor is dirty and my hamper is dirty? Like I handle it and I carry it to the laundry room and feel icky and or I get out of the shower and I feel like my feet are "dirty" because the showe floor is "dirty".
5) How long can this virus live outside the body, I know there isn't a definite answer, but an educated guess would be nice. (2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days)

Truthfully, at one point my anxiety was so bad I was washing my hands until they bled, but I read that it cannot be transmitted through inanimate objects. I realize dirty towels and washrags are kind of iffy, but if washed then they are clean. But I used to feel like remotes, faucet knobs, books, laptop keyboards were all "dirty", but that has all went away. Questions three and four are what is really triggering my anxiety. For months every other day I have lysol sprayed and clorox wiped just about everything in my house, except for clothes, linens, towels, which all get washed. But movie cases, firearms, books, remotes, door knobs, light switches, all that kind of stuff has been cleaned at least a dozen times. But I feel comfortable since Saturday night when I found this website and read several pages of threads. But questions three and four are still weighing on my mind.

I eat pretty good, have started taking a multi-vitamin, cimentidine, which is supposed to be an antiviral used for stopping things like molloscum contagiousum. I was told this by a nurse practitioner, she said it would be worth trying. The Dermatologist said that he really thought this wouldn't be something that was life long for me, so i'm pretty hopeful. I don't drink, smoke, eat a ton of junk food, i'm pretty healthy, except for this. I felt so much better to hear Fredo say that just about everyone has this. And so much was taken off of my mind when my girlfriend said and I quote, "This is a social disease, but its not a problem for us because we're going to get married". That was such a relief. If I could get things to stop feeling dirty my life would be incredible, between going to church and getting a new job. I have found ways to decrease stress by reading, home theater which is my hobby, XBOX 360, Sports. Like I said, personally I can tell that things have gotten drastically better in my mind, but there are a few things still bothering me about this. I just want to get this worked out and get on with my life, everything has been extremely perfect except for this. I'm just looking for some hope, answers, and support from people just like me. Thanks.

By the way, Fredo, how do you know so much about this? You seem to have endless knowledge?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
Fredo, I was kind of hoping to get an answer from you? I would really just like the reassurance. By the way, I was reading and found online that only handwashing works, using hand sanitzer does not. Is this true?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:56 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
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Location: North Carolina
1) If I go to the gym to work out and sweat, and sit on a piece of exercise equipment, does that spread HPV? I know its skin to skin, but if the sweat was on my skin and moved to the equipment?

HPV isn't transmitted via sweat, saliva, blood, tears, and so on.

2) Saliva, if I brush my teeth and don't wash my hands, can I spread the virus that way?

See above!

3) If I go to the restroom and urinate, then button my pants and belt, then wash my hands, I still feel like my belt is dirty? Any input there?

The belt is no risk of transmission to you or anyone else. No worries here.

4) My dermatologist told me that I should wash my hands after restroom trips, sex (which isn't happening right now), after putting my dirty towels in the washer, and when I get out of the shower. Allow me to elaborate. In the shower, I have a towel rack, I throw my dirty wash rag in the shower floor, dry off, genitals last, fold my towel over and pick up the wash rag and lay it in the shower floor. I get out of the shower I have a clean wash rag waiting on me. I take it and open the bathroom door and put my dirty towel and washrag in the hamper, and then take the clean wash rag and turn the water faucet on and wash my hands. However, I feel like the shower floor is dirty and my hamper is dirty? Like I handle it and I carry it to the laundry room and feel icky and or I get out of the shower and I feel like my feet are "dirty" because the shower floor is "dirty".

There's no documentation that HPV is transmitted through inanimate objects. Don't worry about HPV with the floor, towel, washrag, or hamper. It's probably a good common sense approach, say, for someone not to use a dirty towel that was directly used on genital warts, but I stress that there is little (if any) risk here, and no evidence to indicate there is any reason to lose sleep or worry excessively even with this scenario.

5) How long can this virus live outside the body?

I don't know an exact interval, but objects just aren't going to be an efficient means of HPV transmission. How much virus is going to be there in the first place, you know?

The one area where caution might be justified is with shared sex toys, and the risk there is still only something about which we can speculate.


I hope this helps! I think you can take it a little easier on yourself. Have you spoken about these fears with the doctor who prescribes the OCD meds?

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
Fredo, thank you for the reply. I did indeed talk to my doctor about my anxiety. The day he diagnosed me he was really busy and I was overwhelmed by the diganosis. He tried to tell me then, don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. I went home that night and did some research on the CDC and what not. Then after about a 3-4 weeks, it really hit me. I knew about the lack of documentation through inanimate objects, but I was still just curious about the questions I asked about. Right after my diagnosis was when we discussed everything and my family doctor gave me the Celexa. Luckily, my dad and girlfriend have been strong support. I don't hide anything from my dad, he is indeed one of the most understanding people i've ever known. He is a great person to talk to for advice. He has been helping me as far as having someone to talk to when I get anxious. It is slowly getting better, especiallly since Saturday night when I found the message board and have been reading the reassurances that you and others give. Fredo, how did you come to know so much abou this, you seem to have more knowledge than the average person with HPV? Also, I don't know if you saw my other question or not, but I read online that handwashing is essential because hand sanitizer will not kill HPV. I thought the only thing that ethyl alcohol didn't kill was spores. Like Clostridium Difficile. Anways, I would appreciate it if you could answer my other questions and thank you for your response.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
External genital warts like you and your gf have aren't any bit different from warts on your hands and feet. With your ocd they too might trigger some anxiety about spreading them but really, no need to look at them much differently. If the aldara hasn't cleared them up 100% in 3 months time, ask your dermatologist about having the rest of them removed so that they are gone.

I'm personally not aware of hand sanitizer not being adequate as far as hpv. To me , anything you are doing to cleanse your hands is better than just wiping them on your pants :)

betsy

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
Well, see there is another problem. There are like 8 in a spot about the size of a fifty cent piece. But all of them are flat now but the skin on top of them is kind of red. I'm a little less than half way through my third month. He told me that it woudl take longer to use the Aldara on the pubic region than if it were on the thin skin of the penis. But he said that unless it got out of control, he would prefer we do the Aldara to increase the immune system. So...

Well as far as the handwashing thing goes, with my OCD. I actually wash my hands for 20 seconds, two times and then a squirt of hand sanitizer and lotion, but I only wash my hands after I go to the bathroom and when I get ouf the shower and after doing laundry, so call me crazy, but it helps me relax. Like I said above, the only time I have a hard time relaxing is when I get done peeing and wash my hands I still worry about my belt and pants being "dirty" because I wash my hands after buttoning my pants, but Fredo told me above to not worry about it, so thats is now in the mental training for me. Same thing about getting out of the shower as listed above. Honestly my OCD has decreased by about 60% from what it was 3-4 months ago. It just going to take time. I'm just glad I foudn a good support source outside of my family. The more reassurances, the better I seem to feel and the more confident I feel. Thanks for your advice as well Betsy. I am trying to look at them as if they were warts on my hands or feet, but like when the inner lining of my boxers just touch them, I worry about it spreading to my stomach as my boxers move up and down through normal wear. I guess i'm still fuzzy on skin to skin contact. Like do they have to be torn open to spread through skin to skin contact or does litterly just touching them and touching your arm cause the warts?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:16 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
No, your boxers rubbing on them isn't going to spread it to other body parts. Same with as Fred already told you, your hands aren't getting dirty again from just pulling up your pants and hooking your belt. You really are not a walking hpv biohazzard :)

betsy

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
Lol, you make me feel a little bit better everytime your on here. I took your word for it, all day buttoned my pants and belt and washed my hands, but didn't feel dirty when I came home from work and changed. Like I said, i'm just still confused on whether or not the virus is spread by touching and then going and touching something else? Possibly one of the two scenarios?

1. You change pants and your pants touched the wart, but didn't tear it open because they are cotton? That wouldn't cause a spread as you and Fred have said.

2. I get out of the shower, dry off with a towel, which is rough, that could possibly rip one open and allow spreading of the virus, correct?

I just know that if I have a wart on my hand, I don't worry about spreading it by touching it, but everyone has said on here that htey spread through skin to skin contact. Ultimately, do the warts have to be ruptured to spread?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
No they don't have to be ruptured to spread. At this point between the aldara and the fact that you've had hpv for several months now, odds are that they aren't going to continue to spread.

It is a pain in the butt ( sometimes literally ) to have to deal with external genital warts. Just keep reminding yourself that they aren't any different from warts on the hands or the feet - just on more delicate skin that can't be treated by slapping a piece of duct tape over them for a few weeks ( well you could and save money on waxes....he he he ).

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
I think i'm stating my question wrong. I know that they can spread. For example I started out with two or three and just where it lives on the skin, several more popped up after cryotherapy. My dermatologist warned me that this would happen the first couple of times. But what i'm asking is if I am peeing and I accidently graze my hand on a wart or something, is it reasonable to believe that if I touch something then that I am spreading the HPV. I figured if it was closed and you graze it, then there is no chance of spreading it. However, if I dryed off with a towel and it started to bleed, I figured then there would be cause to believe I was spreading it. My dermatologist told me if its not bleeding, i'm not spreading it most likely. Because the only other way to spread it would be through sexual skin to skin contact. The wya he described the transmission from one person to another was the warts actually tear open via friction and spread that way. I think this should help you answer my question. I think I stated my question wrong before, or I lead you to believe I was asking something different. You kind of answered that question though. But this was my orignal meaning by that question.

I'm still struggling to a certain degree. My girlfriend took a shower at my house today, and her gynecologist said she though she had warts on her vaginal wall, not exeternal. But it worried me when she got out and washed her hands, I still felt like my bathroom was dirty. I guess where it was something outside of my normal routine. Like she washes her hands after she drys off, but then picks her towel up and puts it in the hamper. Then I feel like everything she touches is dirty? OR she does my laundry and doesn't wash her hands, because she said that the virus has been sitting in the hamper for a coupel of days, its not fresh? I'm trying to talk to her about this and need some advice on that. I was curious about that one myself. If the towel has been in the hamper for a couple of days is there a possibility of spreading it to the washer and dryer knobs and what not. I always wash my hands after doing my laundry. My girlfriend is extremely clean, I don't mean to paint a bad image or anything, but i'm the one that has the problem with the virus making things "dirty". She is a fanatic about the house and clothes and what not as far as being tidy, but I worry about the things I cannot see.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:11 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Quote:
But what i'm asking is if I am peeing and I accidently graze my hand on a wart or something, is it reasonable to believe that if I touch something then that I am spreading the HPV. I figured if it was closed and you graze it, then there is no chance of spreading it. However, if I dryed off with a towel and it started to bleed, I figured then there would be cause to believe I was spreading it.


No one can say it's impossible, but it's hard to see where there's much reason to worry about touching a wart (regardless of if it's intact, bleeding, or what have you) and then touching an inanimate object someone will come along and also touch. This is a theoretical risk, you'd say. It's probably good, say, not to dry the genital area with a dirty towel someone used to dry warts but, frankly, even this is probably not much of a risk. Maybe the same with a razor used to shave the pubic area while warts are present. The one area where real caution might be used is with sharing sex toys.

Not a lot of specific info here, but a common-sense approach should suffice!

Fredo

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
I knew you had said that above Fredo. I guess its just the mental image of a virus being all of my house. Kind of bothers me. I know I could probably stop all my precautions and not spread it to anyone, but....


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
I have a new question, i've been doing better with everything, honestly quite a bit better. So thanks for the peace of mind. My girlfriend said that every now and then after going to the bathroom she has a little blood on her toilet paper (2), occasionally this happens to me, but I always thought it was just being too aggressive with the toilet paper or sometimes a little bigger than normal stool. We both get a little stopped up every now and then so it could be that. But I read online that this can be a sign of anal warts. Neither of us have ever had sex there before, but with that question out in the open, I know you dont have to have sex there to get them. I'm kind of leaning towards mine being the toilet paper and large bowel movements, and she said she thought hers was constipation. But when she told me about hers, I thought may be a coincidence, maybe its not. My question is this. If they have spread there, does that make our prognosis worse or is it a matter of just treating and waiting more time. Like I said its not even been a year since my diagnosis. I know it takes 6-24 months, sometimes longer. But here is the other thing. My dermatologist froze my warts, and he didn't get them all as mentioned above. He told me more would pop up and they did. My family doctor wrote me a script for the aldara with four refills, but then I graduated college. I just got hired at a new job and benefits kick in December 1st. I read online that genital warts have the best prognosis when treated with a combination of treatment measures, not just one. I have a few small bumps on my penis, but they are super small, like super small. So with that being said, I really don't feel like i've given myself a fair shot at really really getting these suckers under control. I expected more to pop up where he did his freezing because he said that would happen. That is where i've been treating with the aldara, but haven't treated any where else. So i've been kind of fighting an up hill battle. Try to help me out with this one Fredo and Betsy, you guys make days easier to handle one step at a time.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:01 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hey there Colt,

The tissue of the anus is pretty thin, let me tell you, and tears and bleeds easily compared to other areas. There's no way to tell in this forum what's causing the blood your and your girlfriend have noticed, but I don't think warts are among the first things you'd suspect. As always, if it keeps up or gets worse just mention it to your health care provider.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 15
Well, not to share too much detail, but yesterday it felt like the skin had been torn and today I cannot tell anything at all and she said thats how it usually happens for her. So i'm pretty sure that it was just minor trauma. Not warts.


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