Am I Safe From Genital Warts?

by W. Darren -

Posted on Thursday 15th of January 2009

Genital warts are very common. Health experts states that more than a million new cases of genital warts are diagnosed in the United States every year. Unfortunately, the number continues to increase. Based on the most recent health surveys, the prevalence of genital warts among citizens in the United States have increased twice faster than the prevalence rate of genital herpes in the past ten years.

However, not everyone who has the infection manifests symptoms. In fact, only one percent of the HPV infected population develops visible signs and symptoms. That is why you may actually have genital warts but not know about it.

What causes Genital Warts?

Genital Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This refers to a group of viruses comprised of more than eighty types. All of these types can cause wounds, lesions, sores, and warts. The most common of these types are Type 6, Type 11, Type 16, and Type 18. Type 6 and 11 are considered as the low-risk HPV types because they are more associated with skin lesions and sores. In contrast, Types 16 and 18 are classified as high risk types since they can cause abnormal cell growth (neoplasia or dysplasia). Such cell malfunction can cause cancers of the cervix or the anus.

How are warts passed on?

Although genital warts are very common, there are ways in avoiding victimization by this plague. To ensure your safety from genital warts, you should be aware of how the HPV virus spreads.

a. The HPV virus can easily be transmitted from one person to another by having sexual intercourse. A person who is sexually active is also highly at risk for genital warts. Regardless of gender and your age, this group is very vulnerable to the infection.

b. The HPV virus can spread not only through actual sexual intercourse. If a person has genital warts and you share the same sex toys, the virus will be transmitted just the same.

c. You don’t need to have penetrative sex to get genital warts. The virus can be easily transmitted through skin to skin contact. Close genital contact can spread the virus.

d. If you are having sexual intercourse with a person with genital warts, you can still get the HPV virus even if you are using a condom. This is because condoms do not cover the entire part of the genital area. As such, you are still highly at risk from transmission through skin to skin contact.

e. The absence of genital warts in a person with HPV virus should not be regarded as an indication that HPV transmission is improbable. Keep it mind that even though genital warts are not visibly present, you can still get the HPV virus.

f. If you have oral sex with a person that has genital warts or a person with the HPV virus, you can develop warts in your lips or in your mouth.

g. If genital warts develop in your genital area, it is highly probable for you to develop warts around your anal area even without anal sex.

h. If no lesions or sores are present from a person infected with the HPV virus, it will not be transmitted through kissing, hugging, sharing towels and utensils, bathing in the same pool, and using the same toilet.

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