Every week our expert Dr. Rachel Needle answers your questions.
I have been in contact with someone who stated to me that they had genital warts and had taken care of it with his doctor. I have multiple partners, I always use condoms, except for 2 of my multiple partners (neither one has any std's). The reason I believe I might have something is because I performed oral sex on that partner who stated that he had taken care of the genital warts with his doctor, and now I fear that I have it and may have given it to my partners. What questions what tests should I get from my doctors.
What to do
Dear What to do,
Thank you for your question. I would like to address several issues that come up in your question. First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that even though past partners might have told you they did not have any sexually transmitted infections (STIs), some people do lie and their past sex life and/or history of STIs. In addition, there are many people with STIs who don’t even know that they have one (or more). I don’t mean to scare you, but it is important that you know the reality. That being said, IF none of your past partners except for the one you are referring to, had an STI, you are still not off the hook. Genital warts is caused by a virus (the human papillomavirus or HPV, which means that it cannot be cured, even though it can be treated. So when your past partner told you his genital warts were “taken care of” with his Doctor, that probably means that he was treated and perhaps had any visible warts frozen off, but that does not mean he is free of the virus.
If you performed oral sex on a man who has genital warts, it is not impossible to get warts on your mouth or tongue, but it is rare. It is important to use a barrier method, like a condom, which can help protect against the virus but it is not 100% protection because there are areas where condoms do not cover. It is best to abstain from performing oral sex on a partner diagnosed with genital warts until any lesions have cleared. Although the absence of lesions does not guarantee that the virus won’t be transmitted, it is likely that the risk will be diminished.
If you are unsure of whether or not you have contracted HPV, I would suggest that you go see your Doctor if you have one, or to a local health clinic. You can tell the Doctor what your concerns are, and ask to be tested. It is always better to know that to wonder. After all, you may be worried for no reason at all.
Please remember that Information provided on this website is for educational purposes only. It is designed to support, not replace, personal medical care and should never be used as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis, or hands-on treatment.
Previous Q & A
9/1/2010 HIV from Oral Sex?
12/12/2008 Bumps on scrotum
11/26/2008 genital warts
6/1/2008 Genital Herpes Blood Test
4/24/2008 AIDS from kissing?