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My warts are all cleaned up; can I still transmit HPV?
May 18, 2003

In '99 I was diagnosed with high risk HPV and genital warts. The wart was treated with aldara, and i had a LEEP (a type of procedure) done on my cervix. Since then, i have had no symptoms and my PAPs have all come back normal. My question can you give this to everyone you have sex with?? I'm confused, every thing I've read says different things.

Response from Dr. Dezube

This is a very important question. As you have indicated, you have had an HPV infection. HPV is human papillomavirus virus (also known as the wart virus). Some folks who get an HPV infection get totally cured from it because they develop an immune response to HPV. Other folks have a low level persistent HPV infection. It's not feasible to find out if you still have a low level infection, so it is conceivable that you could still transmit the disease. You need to realize that a good portion of the health sexually active American population has HPV disease without knowing it. Since you've had both Aldara treatments and a LEEP procedure you are much less likely to spread HPV.

So what would I recommend? I would recommend to you, as well as to all sexually active people in the context of a non-monogamous relationship, to practice safer sex. In other words, even though there is indeed a small chance you could transmit HPV disease, the risk is probably no different from the average sexually person.

You should continue to have PAP smears on a regular basis.


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