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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18448
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I had HPV genital warts around my anus 10 years ago which cleared

Customer Question

I had HPV genital warts around my anus 10 years ago which cleared with treatment in 6 months - I have never since had a recurrence of the warts. I recently performed oral sex on a woman and also penetrated them with my fingers - I never had warts in my mouth or on my fingers - is it safe to say I could not have infected this person? I'm concerned as it was a spontaneous thing and I hadn't even though about my previous infection for many years. Would appreciate your advice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
This question is a complicated situation.
The fact that you had genital warts around the anus 10 years ago would not cause a risk of transmission of HPV by performing oral sex on a woman or manual stimulation of the female genitalia.
So, there is no risk associated with the specific circumstances that you describe.
However, there are other factors that make this more complicated.
First, there is a potential issue related to transmission via contact of your genitals with a partner. Treating the visible warts will get rid of that specific manifestation, but it is possible that there could be some residual virus in the body that is not visible. The vast majority of non-visible HPV infections can be cleared by the immune system, but there are some individuals in whom the HPV can persist and cause infection in a partner with whom there is genital contact. It would not cause concern about the oral sex encounter that you describe, but any sexual encounter with contact with your genitals may carry some risk.
Second, it is possible that you could have had a separate infection of HPV in the mouth. The infection around the anus would typically not cause an oral infection, but it is possible that there was a separate infection of the mouth, either from the same partner from whom you contracted the anal infection or from another partner. While transmission of HPV from the mouth to the genitals is not common, it could potentially occur.
And since there is no reliable clinical test for the virus in most locations, it cannot be determined whether either of these two situation could apply to you.
While these possibilities may seem frightening, the reality is that there is some risk from anyone that has ever been sexually active outside of a mutually monogamous relationship, even if there has never been any symptoms, so there is a similar risk that you were infected from this partner. There is no way to avoid this risk other than not having sex. Condoms can decrease the risk, but cannot eliminate the risk, because condoms only protect a small amount of genital skin. So, if you choose to have any sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship, you have to accept that this risk is present.
If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.
Dr. D. Love and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information. I had no genital contact with this woman as I was wearing underwear that covered my entire genital area. I appreciate your swift response.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Then there was no risk associated with the prior anal infection of genital warts.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could I ask 3 follow-up questions please? I understand there is no risk associated with kissing, which I assume would include french kissing - could you confirm this? Also, if we shared a toothbrush I would assume there is no risk there either - am I correct? Finally, if we rubbed up against each other but both had our underwear on, hence no direct genital contact, again I would assume there is no risk attached to this? Please advise. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
There is no identified risk associated with these activities. Again, since there is no reliable clinical test for the virus in most locations, the information is mostly inferred from other STDs, but there is no reason for you to be concerned about these activities.
I would note that there are other reasons to avoid sharing toothbrushes, but the concern is not with HPV.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, you've been very helpful.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome.