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HPV positive: What Does it Mean?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I tested hpv positive does that mean I can get warts?


The cause of genital warts is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). If you tested positive for HPV it means you have the virus and you may have warts already but are not visible or simply asymptomatic (no symptoms). This virus is contained in the superficial squamous cells. There are numerous parts of the body lined w/ squamous cells: skin, genitalia, larynx, etc. Easy shedding of the superficial squamous cells can transmit the virus; examples are mere direct skin to skin contact and sexual contact. Different types of this virus can cause common genital warts but there are a few types that can cause penile CA and cervical CA. I strongly suggest that you get the Gardasil vaccine as soon as possible as you can still produce antibodies and protect yourself from cervical CA.  Your sexual partner may also benefit from this vaccine. The Gardasil vaccine can protect you from 4 types of HPV viruses: 2 of them are the most common types that produce the common genital warts and 2 of them are the most common types that can potentially cause penile and cervical CA. Only 3 shots are needed for lifetime protection. Condom use may have some protection but there is still a significant chance of transmitting the disease. I do hope I have enlightened you in some way. I wish you all the best and take care always.

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