hpv and condom use The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Jan 7, 1997
If my partner and I both have the HPV virus (but no warts), should we avoid oral sex?
If my partner and I both have the HPV virus (but no warts) should we use condoms to prevent creation of additional sites where warts might occur?
Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Hi. Thank you for your questions. Getting HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection in the mouth or throat is quite rare. So it would be unlikely to get this infection via oral sex, but not impossible. When we do see HPV infection in the throat, it is usually in infants when the infection was transmitted mother-to-child during delivery. However, this infection in the mouth/throat in adults is extremely rare. The decision whether to have unprotected oral sex or not therefore rests with you.
Since you do have HPV, if you have unprotected sex, you can transmit the virus to other parts of the body, primarily the penis, vagina, or rectum (where these warts are usually found). So if you continue to have unprotected sex, the infection can spread to another part of the body (listed above) that was previously uninfected. When the warts are visible, you are highly infectious, and using condoms becomes very important. Getting the symptoms treated will reduce (but not eliminate) the risks of transmission from person to person. Therefore using condoms is something you may wish to consider.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
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