Feb 18, 1998
Are genital warts and anal warts different things? In other words, could you have one and not the other? Or, is it a general virus that rests in both those areas, and when you have you are contagious both vaginally and anally?
Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Hi. Thank you for your question. Genital warts and anal warts are caused by the same virus (Human Papilloma Virus--HPV). These warts are DIFFERENT from those that are found on other parts of the body (hands, elbows, etc.). Genital/Anal warts are transmitted by direct genital-to-genital contact, or direct genital-to-anal contact, with the site of the infection.
If a man has genital warts on his penis, and he has unprotected anal sex with his partner, he can give his partner anal warts. Likewise, if a person has anal warts, and they have unprotected anal sex, they can give the insertive partner genital warts on his penis.
This virus can also be transmitted through unprotected vaginal sex (from the man to the woman, or from the woman to the man, depending upon who is infected). If a woman has vaginal warts, she will not transmit the virus to her partner during anal sex. Likewise, if a woman has anal warts, she will not transmit the virus to her partner during vaginal sex. Again, this virus is transmitted by direct genital-to-genital contact, or direct genital-to-anal contact, with the infected area. This is NOT a systemic infection.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
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