What is it?
Warts are pretty easy to get, and it's estimated that at least one-fourth
of the people in this country carry the virus but don't show symptoms
(you can't tell they have it). You can get warts by intimate skin contact
through such acts as insertive or receptive oral, anal, and vaginal
sex. Also, intimate skin contact such as dry humping, and any genital-to-genital
contact, even without penetration, can transmit the virus that causes
warts. Secondary contact can transmit the disease as well. For example,
fondling, foreplay, and petting will all transmit the virus pretty well.
It's best to ask your partners if they've ever had warts. Even so, some
people can have it and pass it on without knowing it (if the warts are
too small to see). Secondary contact is how some people autoinoculate
themselves--that is, they spread it to other parts of their body just
by touching a wart and touching some other part of their body. Finally,
women who have warts in the birthing canal can pass the disease on to
their baby during birth. Babies can be infected on their genitals, but
this is rare. Babies usually get warts in their throat from birth.
What to look for?
Venereal warts can grow in the mouth, the throat, the genitalia, the
anus, and the perineum. They look like cauliflowers: bumpy and fleshy.
They are painless but can grow so big that they block your urethra,
vagina, anus, or throat. But warts can also be so small that you can't
see them. Of course you can still spread them even if you can't see
them. Your health provider takes vinegar and soak a suspicious area,
and then looks at the area with a magnifying glass--the vinegar turns
the warts white and makes them more visible.
Warts can be burned off with laser, or frozen, or treated with chemicals.
This gets rid of them for a while. Often, they come back (they recur)
for a long time--sometimes for life. That's because they become latent
and can hide in your skin. They may disappear without treatment, but
don't count on it. Trichloracetic acid, Podophyllin, and Fluorouracil
are the names of three major drugs used to get rif of warts. There's
also a new cream called Imiquimod that's supposed to cure it about 65%
of the time. Contact your health provider as soon as you think you may
have gotten an STD; the sooner you are treated, the better your chances
of recovery, and it is less likely you will get complications. Also,
have your partners checked out, and stop having sex until you get better.
Otherwise, you and your partners could keep passing the disease back
and forth to each other.
For more information please visit The
STD Home Page
This information is here courtesy of The STD Home Page.