Genital Warts and HPV Are They The Same Thing?
The answer to "Genital warts and HPV: are they
the same thing" is 'yes' and 'no'. HPV and genital
warts are connected in that some types of HPV can cause
genital warts in some people. However, other strains
of HPV cause other symptoms apart from genital warts.
Nearly 200 different strains or types of HPV or human
papillomavirus have been identified and only some of
these cause genital warts. Other types of the virus
may cause common and plantar warts; others can cause
changes to the cells which may lead to cervical or anal
cancer. Symptoms only rarely are visible immediately;
it can take several weeks or months for the warts to
To further complicate things, even those strains
that do produce symptoms of genital warts, won't necessarily
produce them in all people. Because some strains of
HPV have no symptoms, or some people won't get any HPV
symptoms, or the symptoms could take some time to appear,
people can be infected and become a carrier of HPV without
being aware of the fact.So, genital warts are the symptom of some strains of
the human papillomavirus, but not everyone infected
with these strains will get genital warts. Then there
are many other strains of HPV that don't produce genital
warts; they may have no symptoms or produce different
symptoms like common warts on the hands.
that genital warts and HPV are linked so often is that
genital warts are a very obvious symptom, they make
people more worried than common warts and that these
strains of HPV are classified as a Sexually Transmitted
Infection/Disease or STD.
HPV is contagious and it is believed that the strains
that cause genital warts and cervical cancer are more
highly contagious than others. Genital warts are not
dangerous – they are unsightly, uncomfortable
or even painful, but they are not dangerous nor do they
lead to cancer.
Doctors are usually reluctant to remove
genital warts when they first appear because they frequently
go away without any intervention; the body's immune
system removes the virus from the body. Only when the
warts stay around or return frequently will the doctor
consider one of the methods of removing them.
HPV and genital warts spread through skin to skin contact
during vaginal, oral or anal sex with a partner who
is a carrier of the virus, meaning they already have
HPV whether they have any symptoms or not. Actual sexual
intercourse involving penetration is not required for
the virus to be spread; any contact with the genitals
of an infected person may result in HPV being passed
on. It is the most common STD - most people will contract
HPV at some stage of their lives.
So, while some strains of HPV may cause genital warts
in some people, not all strains of the virus will do
so. HPV can be transmitted whether the carrier has any
genital warts or not. The HPV strains that cause genital
warts are not the same as those that cause or lead to