How You Catch a Wart

Genital warts come from viruses, and we catch a wart when we are in contact with and subsequently infected with a virus that causes them unless we have previously been protected by the vaccination. If you have a genital wart odds are it came from the

HPV Virus Particle

virus types 6, and 11 of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). And there are about another dozen HPV types that can cause these. These are highly infectious and studies show they have an with an incubation period which ranges from 3 weeks to 8 months. If you had sexual contact with some one only prior to that then you might be a case of virus reactivated. But for most women, the warts come from contact within the last 3 weeks-8 months. When you come in contact with some one who has the type of HPV virus that causes the genital warts or condyloma then you will likely, if you have acquired infection, do so fairly rapidly.  The main way that HPV is transmitted is sexually, but non-sexual contact is possible: saliva, towels, sex toys. Bleach absolutely will prevent this! So that cleaning with bleach is an effective strategy to protecting roommates.The majority of individuals who develop genital warts, will do so about 2-3 months after they become infected, and that means 2-3 months after being with an infected partner. The good news is that we still have a lot of natural virus protection as we can eliminate virus by virtue of our own immune system.   This protection may not prevent an initial infection, but it does mount defense and thus causes spontaneous regression of the virus infection in 10-30% of patients within 3 months. This is accompanied by the blood circulating immune cells that then fight off virus infection, and it is called part of our cell mediated immune response. The response helps us fight off low grade abnormal pap smears and even the early precancerous changes called CIN I or the earliest precancerous changes on pap known as Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Grade I. In fact  if you have gone beyond the stage of just a virus infection and beyond the stage of a wart infection to this early precancerous change you have (in some studies) a 70% chance that CIN I will go away all together, and only a 10% chance that CIN I will become more severe.


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