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HPV and warts

By April 21, 2010 - 6:55pm
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Quite a few years ago I started a relationship with a man I am now married to, and when we started a sexual relationship- he informed me of the warts (that I would have noticed, they are very large) on his penis. At 18 I had no idea about HPV and I STILL don't really understand what's happening.
I know that genital warts are caused by HPV and are an extremely contagious STD, but I don't know if his are genital warts in the STD sense. I question it because he has had a problem with warts his entire life, frequently suffering outbreaks on his hands and feet... and now the warts he has are on his penile shaft as well as the bit of fatty area (V shaped area) above the penis and in the crease of his groin and leg. And the warts don't look like any of the pictures I can find... they look like the wart I had on my hand as a child.

Now, over 2 years ago I become pregnant with his child, and when I went in for my exam, I was told I had HPV- but when my son was born, the HPV cleared itself out of my system. (And I had a couple sexual partners before my husband, as did he)
Now that I'm learning more information on it, I am very nervous. I'm afraid they ARE the STD and that I am at risk for developing genital warts. He can't go to the doctor because he can't afford health insurance (Though I am seeing there are over- the- counter treatments?? I thought they are supposed to be removed from the root, though?)

I want to know the likelihood that the warts are non contagious, (And to know what they look like, just think of the basic hand wart. Some smaller some larger. THey are very firm like a common wart, not soft a "squishy" like genital warts are described as) And if it's safe to continue having sex with him or if I should refuse until he gets them treated.
Basically, I can't figure out if it is possible to have an outbreak of the common wart on the penis. Or if any wart on the penis is guaranteed to be an STD.

Add a Comment3 Comments

Hi Again Shadow

There are different viruses that cause different warts, and not all of them are STDs. For example, nearly everyone is infected with Herpes virus, not the STD but the one that can cause cold sores. HPV can be a virus on the skin that causes warts, and is a different strain than the one that causes genital warts. We have a page on Plantar warts, which is an example of this: https://www.empowher.com/media/reference/plantar-warts

So you definitely do not have to have what we classify as an STD to have warts. There are many viruses that can cause warts. The National Institutes of Health has good information on warts: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/warts.html

A low cost or free clinic should treat him for whatever they diagnose him with. They can test for STDs but they usually have just plain old health exams and treatments as well.

Good luck to you both.

April 26, 2010 - 6:34am

I recently had an STD test because I had a yeast infection from antibiotics and my doctor likes to cover all grounds. I tested negative... and we will be taking him to be tested ASAP. But I'm slightly confused... does that mean it is possible to have warts there simply because he had the virus in his body? Or are they always sexually transmitted? (Just curious now) And I now know all warts are contagious (Explains why they appeared on my hand after he got them on his!!)
As for free clinics. I know they will treat them if they deem them to be genital warts of the STD variety... but judging by their appearance, will they treat them if they are just the common wart?

I keep hearing that the common wart on the penis is the same thing as genital warts... but what if it had happened to say, a child? Or a virgin? Would they then have genital warts? An STD without sex?

April 22, 2010 - 10:22am

Hi Shadow-

Non-STD warts are usually caused by a virus just like the warts you get with an STD. I suggest you both be tested for STDs as soon as possible. I know you mentioned not having insurance. There are health clinics in just about every county in the U.S. that do low cost or free testing for STDs, and Planned Parenthood does that as well.

I would not wait on this. Google your county government public health department or free clinics, or go to the Planned Parenthood website and find a location near you: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/sexually-transmitted-disease-std-testing-treatment-2617. Planned Parenthood handles men's health as well as women's.

Please find a clinic and be tested. This can affect your health and his, and because STDs are considered a threat to public health there are numerous ways to be tested and treated whether you have insurance or not. STDs do not always travel alone, meaning if he has HPV he may have something else, too. That is why you should both be tested.

Good luck to you and your husband.

April 22, 2010 - 8:42am
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