condyloma, are sexually transmitted infections caused by a virus known
as the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are over 70 different strains
HPV is spread by direct
skin-to-skin contact with a partner, or
during sexual intercourse. It may spread even without intercourse,
however. Infection may occur by contact with a visible wart, and
possibly also from an area of skin with no visible wart (subclinical
infection). After sex with an infected person, warts may take a few
weeks to many months (or even years) to appear. Condoms help to prevent
spreading of warts, but they only protect the area they cover. Warts
can spread even when a condom is used, because any areas that the
condom does not cover can transmit the virus. Since HPV may be present
anywhere in the genital and anal area, condoms may not provide full
Genital warts or condyloma
are HPV-associated growths that appear
around the genitals and anus, and sometimes in the vagina, rectum or
urethra. They may be raised or flat, single or multiple, small or
large, and may cluster together with a cauliflower-like appearance.
They are painless and rarely cause discomfort. A subclinical HPV
infection occurs when there are no warts visible, but microscopic
changes in cells show evidence of the virus.
Genital warts are
diagnosed by looking for them. Subclinical HPV
infection is difficult to diagnose. However, if present on the cervix,
it may show up on a Pap smear or swab of the cervix. Being infected
with certain high-risk HPV strains may increase the risk of developing
cancer of the penis or cancer of the cervix in the future.
Treatment removes visible
warts, but does not eradicate the wart
virus. Treatment involves removing the wart with applications of
chemicals, freezing, or burning them off with electrocautery or laser.
Each method may cause mild irritation and scarring.
Because the HPV virus may
persist in normal-appearing cells, it
is possible for warts to return after treatment. If the warts reappear,
it does not necessarily mean that you have been reinfected. In most
people, warts eventually resolve and do not reappear. This is thought
to be due to the body's natural defenses modulating the HPV.
The Human Papilloma Virus
(HPV) vaccine has been released and
made available to the public. The HPV virus causes Genital Warts, but
it has also been
found to cause the majority of Cerivcal Cancer in women. This vaccine
may help prevent
millions of cases of dangerous HPV virus from spreading. We have the
at our medical center for immediate use.