What is it?
Genital Warts are caused by a skin infection caused by the Human Papillomavirus, but not all those with the virus will develop the genital warts. It is spread via close skin contact and is possible to get warts on the hands, could be transferred to the penis, scrotum, anus and vagina.
There are over 100 types of HPV which can affect different parts of the body including hands and feet.
The foot wart is called Verruca plantar and warts of the hands are called Verruca plana.
Some types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) are considered high risk because of their association with the development of cancers, such as cervical, warts and verrucas.
Approximately 30 types of HPV can live around the genital or anal areas, they are caused by non-cancerous warts, types 6 and 11.
Who can get it?
Anyone having sexual or close skin-to-skin contact, it is the second most common STI after Chlamydia.
What are the symptoms?
Most people with the infection, do not always have symptoms. It could take weeks, months or years before they appear and can be passed on.
How do I protect myself?
There is a vaccination programme for girls who live in England aged 12 and up to their 18th birthday, a leaflet for the programme can be seen here.
There is also a vaccination programme for men who have sex with men up to the age of 45, the leaflet for that programme can be seen here.
The Gardasil vaccination programme is three doses given during a 4 to 12 month period and protects against four strains of HPV, they are 6,11, 16 and 18. For additional information about Gardasil click here.