Jun 18, 2001
Can you tell me some symptoms and please describe to me what anal warts are?
Response from Mr. Kull
Anal warts are warts that can appear in or around the anus and rectum and are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact with the virus, most often through contact with active lesions/warts. HPV-related warts are generally painless, may cause itching, and can lead to sores or bleeding. They are often described as flesh-colored, soft, and cauliflower-like. However, if the warts occur in the rectum, you may not see or even know they are there.
People who have engaged in receptive anal sex, especially gay men, and people with HIV infection are at the highest risk for rectal/anal warts. Condoms provide some, but not complete, protection. It is recommended that those individuals get screened for warts in the rectum at some point in their life. A doctor can generally do this in her office. There is some evidence, though not conclusive, that rectal/anal warts may lead to certain types of rectal/anal cancers, especially if they go untreated. This evidence could lead to future guidelines stressing the importance of regular screening for anyone at risk. See my response to "Anal sex and colorectal cancer" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Hepatitis/Q2945.qna).
See the articles on "HPV and Genital Warts" here at The Body for more information on this most common sexually transmitted infection (http://www.thebody.com/safesex/stdbasics.html#hpv).
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Can You Test Negative And Still Have Hiv?
- Organ Systems Affected By Hiv
- Can Neuropathy Be Relieved With Ibuprofen?
- If I Had Unprotected Sex With An Hiv Positive Woman What Are The Odds That I Am Infected?
- Accuracy Of Hiv 1-2 Test
- What Is The Normal Viral Load For An Hiv-positive Person?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.