4 Myths and Misconceptions of Genital Warts

by W. Darren -

Posted on Tuesday 10th of March 2009

The human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes genital warts, is very prevalent. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe develop genital warts every year. According to health experts, one of the main reasons why many people contract the infection is because many people lack clear, concise, and updated information about HPV.

Inadequate information dissemination regarding the signs and symptoms, causes, risks, treatment, complications, and prevention measures on genital warts leads to increased prevalence of the disease.

Unfortunately, inaccurate information about HPV infection makes the condition worse. That is why a clear understanding of genital warts should be promoted. Such campaign should start with tackling the most common myths and misconceptions about genital warts and HPV. Below are some of the examples.

Myth No. 1:

Only women are prone to have HPV infection and develop genital warts

Genital warts are very common around the globe. Any person who is sexually active is likely to develop genital warts. HPV infection chooses no gender or age. Both men and women can have HPV and genital warts. However, pregnant women are more susceptible to have severe symptoms.

Moreover, women infected with HPV are more likely to have visible symptoms of genital warts than infected men. This is primarily because the moist environment of the vulva and the vagina provides a more dynamic venue for the breeding and multiplication of the virus.

Myth No. 2:

A person can only have genital warts if he engages in unprotected sex.

Genital warts are sexually transmitted infections. You can get infected with HPV primarily if you have unprotected sex. However, you can also get genital warts through skin contact.

Even if you did not engage in penetrative sexual intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex, you can still get the infection primarily if direct contact has been made to the genitalia. If you share your sex toys with someone who is infected with HPV, you are also highly at risk for developing the infection.

Myth No. 3:

Condoms can protect you from genital warts

Although condoms can provide you with some form of protection against HPV transmission, there is still a high possibility of developing genital warts. Since genital warts are viral, they can easily spread through direct skin contact. So even if you wear condoms while having sexual intercourse with an HPV infected person, the virus can still be transmitted since the condom does not cover the entire male genitalia.

Myth No. 4:

If there are no visible genital warts, that means you are not infected with HPV

Not everyone who is infected with the HPV develop visible signs and symptoms. In fact, only one percent of the HPV infected population has genital warts. Among the people with genital warts, not all warts appear in the exterior part of the genital and anal areas. Instead, most genital warts develop inside the vulva, the urethra, and the anus.

Also, when HPV has been transmitted, signs and symptoms do not appear automatically. Genital warts may develop only after the incubation phase. This incubation period varies from person to person. Some only take three weeks while others take two years so someone who has the infection may not be aware of it.

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