From Irritation to Infection: Unpacking Genital Warts (HPV)

What are Genital Warts (HPV)?

Genital warts are small, pointy growths in the genital or anal area. More rarely they also occur in the mouth. Genital warts are caused by human papilloma viruses (HPV). In rare cases, some HPV types lead to cancer like cervical cancer/penile cancer/ anal cancer. It is possible to get vaccinated against certain HPV types.

Genital warts do not hurt, but they can itch. Genital warts are treated with ointments, laser surgery, excision or icing. Even after a successful therapy, relapses often occur. This is why follow-up examinations over longer periods of time are necessary.

Many people have already been infected with HPV. However, in most cases it is asymptomatic and heals on its own. Transmission usually occurs during sex, but is also possible during intensive physical contact. Injuries during intimate shaving or piercings make it even easier to pick up the infection.


Check out more content on STIs like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis A/B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, HPV, Crabs, Scabies, Fungi.

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About the Author: Raju Behara (she/they), a trans-disabled Peer Support Provider with a decade of healthcare experience, holds a Masters in Pharmacology and a PG Diploma in Health Economics, Health Policy at the Indian Institute of Public Health. Aligned with the Safe Access Community Wellbeing Project, Raju has contributed to LGBTQIA+ safety in Indian workplaces, drafting gender-neutral dress codes and working on sensitization. A published author and poet in various anthologies, Raju, through EQUAL fellowship, chronicled social histories of housing, healthcare and workplace discrimination for queer-trans individuals in India. They initiated ‘Queer & Quarantine’, a crisis intervention program for trans folks facing housing challenges.

Article Vetted by: Dr. Swathi SB


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