19 December 2014
STD Paper: Genital Warts
An estimated 34 million is the number of people are living with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) around the world in 2011. About 1.7 million is the number of deaths caused by them in 2011. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection that impacts many around the world, yet is still misunderstood but due to the epidemiology one can gain more knowledge of the disease.
Genital warts are “soft growths that occur on the genitals”. They may appear “skin color, or red or white, flat (smooth on the skin), raised (like a bump or skin growth), single (only one wart), multiple (more than one in the same area or many areas), small or large.” Along with the possibility of being found on the penis, scrotum, vulva, vagina, anus or groin. Genital warts may also appear on the “lips, mouth, tongue, or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.”
The disease is spread through the direct skintoskin contact with an infected partner, which are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). According to the
Centers for Disease Control, 90 percent of genital warts are caused by HPV 6 or HPV 11. They may be dangerous for women due to the fact that some types of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.
Some signs that one has genital warts are vaginal discharge, itching, bleeding, or burning.
If they spread or become enlarged, it can be very painful and uncomfortable. While visible genital warts often go away with time, the virus cannot be cured once it is in your bloodstream, which one may have several outbreaks over the course of your life. Managing the symptoms is important because one wants to prevent transmitting the virus to others. Genital warts can be passed on to others even when there are no visible warts or other symptoms.
If one wants to treat genital warts to relieve painful symptoms or to minimize their appearance, they cannot treat genital warts with overthecounter wart removers or treatments.
The physician may prescribe topical wart treatments, including: imiquimod (Aldara), podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox), or trichloroacetic acid (TCA). If visible warts do not go away with time, one may require surgery to remove them. The physician can burn, freeze, laser, or cut off genital warts. Because certain types of HPV that cause genital warts are also associated with cervical cancer and precancerous changes in the cervix, women who have been diagnosed with genital warts may need to “have Pap smears every three to six months after their initial treatment to monitor any changes in the cervix.”
Ways to prevent are to get vaccinated. According to the Mayo Clinic, the Advisory
Committee on Immunization Practices recommends HPV vaccinations for girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12. However, men and women up to age 26 can receive the