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HPV/HIV

Feb 17, 2016

Good Morning/Afternoon Dr. Vergel,

I have written before and you've become a very credible source of information and a strong confidant over the years. MY name is John, I am 27 years old, and I have been HIV positive for years unfortunately, but I found out officially in April 2014. About a decade ago I was sexually assaulted by three men on school campus and the police performed a rape kit and drug test and at the time I was negative, but as my new doctor has informed me they performed the test too soon and due to lack of knowledge and family support I didnt have the test again until 2014.

In May of that year I started medications. I started off with VL-1.2 million and CD4-48. Now it is close to second year anniversary and my numbers are VL-<50 which to some is undetectable and others it's isnt (a little confused on that) and CD4 212.

While my CD4 has increased I have unfortunately had to deal with a ton of side effects from the meds and from the HIV in my body. I've had to have my gallbladder, appendix and tonsils removed in three consecutive months, I spent a month in ICU after an operation went awry and I needed two blood transfusions (2 bags of blood, 2 separate times) so this HIV journey has not been very kind to me.

Now that you have a better view of my timid background at the time of the HIV diagnosis I also received the HPV diagnosis. The strands of HPV that I have as explained to me is one that causes genital warts and one that leads to prostrate cancer. My colorectal doctor has performed the procedure to remove the warts 8 times since 2014. Although my numbers are barely above 200 they still manage to continue coming back. I am aware of how HIV spreads and ways to be sexually active safely but for the HPV I have no idea. It seems that most of the information is not targeted to gay men. My question is how much of a risk would I be putting someone if I chose to receive anal oral when it comes to the HPV? Is that something that will no longer be available to me or is the risk of a potential partner catching it too big a risk? (the warts are anal warts not the genital kind)

I understand this is a pretty lengthy question but I would gratefully accept any help you can give me.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

HPV infections and related health problems are quite common, especially among HIV-infected people. The consequences of HPV infections, like warts and anal/cervical cancers can be more frequent and serious in people with lower CD4 cell counts. (And anal warts are a form of genital warts.)

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, "ou can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.

Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected making it hard to know when you first became infected."

So, yes, you can transmit HPV from anal-oral contact.

Hope that's helpful, BY



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