What are genital warts?
Genital warts, or Condyloma, are growths that show up after exposure to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The warts only come up in 10% of HPV patients, so just because you don’t have them doesn’t mean you don’t have the virus.
Condyloma will usually present itself as a small wart (as small as one millimeter) and usually has the texture of a cauliflower. Sometimes, there will be more than one wart, either on the inside or the outside of the genitals or the anus.
Usually, the genital warts, will be diagnosed when a patient sees a doctor about “something that grew on my penis or vagina” or “something that grew on my anus.” Genital warts are a very common phenomenon in the U.S. and all around the world, so doctors know it well and can offer many ways to treat it.
How common are Papilloma and Genital warts?
Human Papilloma Virus – HPV – is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the western world today. It is so common that studies in the U.S.A. showed that at any given moment some 26.8% of 14-59 year olds are carriers of the virus. According to this study, 80% of people 50 and under will catch one strain or more of the virus. In order to avoid confusion, recall at this point that 90% of infections are not characterized by any outwardly symptoms and nearly all HPV cases are handled by the body’s immune system within a few months.
How are genital warts diagnosed?
In cases where a genital wart has developed, many times a dermatologist can diagnose the virus just based on their experience of skin growths. These growths usually have a familiar structure and look cauliflower-like, or maybe flower stem-like.
An interesting phenomenon is that Condyloma warts tend to turn white when contacted by acetic acid, and you can use this subsance to assist in the diagnosis. In the vagina area, this method is less successful because different infections react similarly and can cause a false-positive.
For women, a cervical swab is usually needed to diagnose Condyloma. This test, called Pap (Papanicolaou), is included in most health insurance plans.
There are two types of Pap smear tests – the regular and the thin version. The thin test, by essence, more thoroughly examines the sample taken from the area in question.
Another test is called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). This test detects directly for the DNA of the HPV virus and it is highly recommended for women who either have the virus or are undergoing various treatments. This test generally costs around $200 and is generally not covered by standard insurance.
How do you catch genital warts?
The Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, is a virus that resides in skin cells, and is therefore passed from infected cells to “clean” cells. In other words, any friction of infected and uninfected skin may cause infection.
The fast infection rate means that protecting oneself from the virus by adhering to safe sex is generally not enough, because even protected sex usually begins with foreplay (direct contact of the genitals).
What are genital warts or condyloma?
It’s important to note that the infection is very fast, and in high percentage rates – studies have shown that 50% of any contact between infected and uninfected skin will result in infection. This fact has caused HPV to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the western world today, with millions of new infections every year.
It is also important to note that being infected by one of the strains of Human Papilloma Virus – HPV – does not prevent infection of another strain. Still, in most cases the immune system will overcome the virus within a year or two, and from that moment on the infected person will be immune to that strain of the virus (along with a few other strains), for a few years.
After a half hour of being sure that my fate was to die a painful death from anal cancer, I noticed the word “Condyloma.” I found out it was a small wart that shows up on the penis or the anus for men, and that it is always caused by a sexually transmitted infection called “Papilloma”...–from the personal story of Jacob