Of all the awful STDs out there in the wide world waiting patiently to strike, HPV—or genital warts—is probably at the top of the "cringe&…
Of all the awful STDs out there in the wide world waiting patiently to strike, HPV—or genital warts—is probably at the top of the “cringe” list. No one wants to begin a night of passion only to reveal a crotch full of unsightly and infectious warts by night’s end. This goes without saying. If anything can put a damper on a romantic evening it’s HPV. Treatment is available and affordable for anyone suffering with this almost-unspeakable malady. Although, it is completely understandable that one would want to keep this a secret from potential suitors and/or friends, there is no reason to keep it secret from a doctor. Treatment can only begin when one gets diagnosed—the quicker the better for both men and women.
Known as genital warts, HPV is caused by the Human Pappillomavirus and over twenty million Americans are currently infected. According to America’s foremost authority, the Department of Health and Human Services, over six million more people will catch it during the next year. With statistics like this it is up to each and every person engaging in sexual activity to protect themselves and receive treatment if necessary.
Protection begins simply. We have heard it a million times, but how many of us actually practice it? We are speaking of safe sex, of course. Many of us will also speak sternly to friends, imploring them to practice safe sex as a matter of course, only to find ourselves (after a few cocktails) dismissing our own good advice. Why is that? With the specter of all STDs in general—and genital warts in particular—hanging precariously over our heads each and every time we go out for a night of fun, why do we sometimes find it difficult to listen to even ourselves? It’s hard to say why some of us would choose a life-time of treatment for a few moments of condom-less pleasure.
A lifetime of treatment? Yes, a lifetime. Genital warts are not caused by bacteria that you can knock out of your system with a course or two of antibiotics. No, genital warts are caused by a virus, and once you have them, you have them forever. There is no genital warts cure, only controlling its symptoms through thorough HPV testing—over a lifetime.
What are the symptoms of genital warts? HPV’s symptoms are numerous painful and unsightly warts all over the genital area. Breakouts in men are typically along the length of the penis shaft and also around and inside the rectum. In women, the breakouts occur on the labia, rectum and entire genital area—but more importantly the warts can grow inside of a woman’s cervix and cause cancer. It is viewed by the health care system as such a potentially devastating problem for young women, that in some states a controversial vaccination for girls has been instituted. This is a mode of treatment that goes too far for some families. These families rather not have the government tell them what medicine their daughters and sisters should have to take.
Your best bet when it comes to STD treatment for genital warts is to visit a certified clinic. The treatment for genital warts is varied. They can be removed via laser, and may be treated with gels and ointments. Only a doctor will know the best course of treatment for each individual and only after a personal diagnosis. Remember that condoms go a long way in protecting against STDs such as genital warts.
What if you think you may have genital warts, what it is you should look for? Genital warts are small fleshy appendages that look like little cauliflowers up close. They may be painful and/or itchy. Remember that they do occur inside the body and that only a doctor can make the proper diagnosis.