Genital Warts (sometimes called anogenital warts) are a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by human papillomaviruses or HPVs. Although there are over a hundred different types of HPV, most genital warts are caused by HPV 6 and HPV 11.
Warts may sometimes disappear on their own without treatment but can often persist for months or even years. Warts may sometimes reappear after they seem to have gone on their own or after treatment.
The human papilloma virus is easily passed from one person to another through skin-to-skin genital contact. This doesn’t need to be penetrative sex (vaginal, anal or oral sex), but could be close genital contact.
Warts are common and can be passed on through skin-to-skin genital contact.
If you have genital warts, some symptoms you may notice are:
There is no routine test available for HPV. Genital warts can be diagnosed at one of our nurse led sexual health clinics by the nurse looking at your skin.
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The most common treatment is a cream or lotion that you put on the warts a few times a week at home. These treatments may take weeks or months to work.
Other options include freezing or burning the warts with a special solution which would be applied via a nurse or doctor at a sexual health clinic.
Once the warts have gone, there is a chance they may come back and need further treatment.
There is now a vaccine which protects against getting the main types of HPV. This is now usually given to all girls aged 12 – 13 at school and there is a catch-up program for all girls up to the age of 18. Boys have not been routinely vaccinated for HPV
If you are diagnosed with genital warts, you should advise your partner(s) to come for a sexual health check-up too.
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