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Genital Warts Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: Do I have HPV?

By Anonymous
 
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About 3 years ago, I received the Gardasil shots. I have had regular pap smears each year since then and a few years prior to then. I am currently 26 years old. 2 years ago, I began a relationship with a man and have been in this relationship since. He recently had a check-up with a Dr. for the first time in more than 5 yrs. The Dr. saw a growth on his scrotum and diagnosed it as genital warts. I have spoken over the phone with a few nurses and have been told that I have the virus and there isn't much to do now. However, after researching information about Gardasil, I've found that Gardasil is supposed to prevent the major strains of HPV that are linked to genital warts. Do you know what the likelihood is of me having HPV is if I do not have symptoms? How do I find out if I do? Can I find out what strain I have? Can this be transmitted orally? Is there a way to protect against it? Is there a way to find out what strain he has?
Thank you,

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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hi,
I can only add information that you might have already found on the Gardasil website. "GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases."
There are DNA HPV tests available which are used to detect both high risk and low risk HPV types. Here is the link to the website, Lab Tests Online: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hpv/tab/test
I think you will find a good deal of helpful information to answer your questions.

Maryann

September 14, 2011 - 4:52pm
mena

Hi,

You can always run a test to confirm if you have the HPV or not. Gardasil prevents the infection with the major cervix cancer linked genotypes of HPV, nominally the 16 and the 18, but it won't prevent the infection by other HPV genotypes.
Just to make it clear, HPV is a virus which is present in over 100 variants (genotypes), ie. like you have dozens of variants of apples.. green, red.. but it's always an apple. Only few of these are linked to a high risk of developing cervix cancer and/or genital warts, and Genesil should protect you from those. But at the same time, Genesil will not protect you from all the other 100 types of HPV, which nominally are linked to no or low risk of cervix cancer/warts.

Now, HPV is present in over 80% of female population world wide and normally most woman don't know they got one at all. Most low risk types of HPV cure spontaneously over 7-10 years without women even noticing it.
So if your partner has genital warts due to HPV infection, it's probable you got it too. You can always ask for a HPV test, the fastest and the most accurate by far is the Real Time PCR analysis, which is also quantitative (it can not only detect the presence of the virus but also the quantity of the virus in the vaginal sample). You can also ask for the HPV genotyping assay, once you know if you're positive or not, so you'll know which type of the HPV you got.

hope this was helpful!

Mena

September 14, 2011 - 3:06pm
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