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Can you Have Genital Warts and not Have HPV? For Men

Genital warts, or venereal warts, are among the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. But are all of them caused by HPV in men?

In this article, we will clarify this and other doubts about genital warts in men.

What do warts that are not HPV look like?

Dr laughing

Genital warts, or condylomata acuminata, are triggered by HPV.

However, there are other lesions in the genital area that may resemble warts. Structures or lesions that are not HPV warts can be distinguished by:

  • Being symmetrical
  • Having defined boundaries
  • Generally causing more intense itching
  • Possibly affecting other areas of the body
  • Being accompanied by general symptoms

On the other hand, the characteristics of genital warts caused by human papillomavirus in men are usually small bumps or clusters of bumps on the tip or shaft of the penis, the scrotum, or the anus.

You may not always see them, but they can be:

  • small or long,
  • flesh-colored or slightly darker,
  • raised or flat,
  • and smooth or irregular like cauliflower.

They may disappear, stay the same, or increase in size or number.

What diseases are confused with HPV?

Generally, confusion arises from the presence of symptoms similar to HPV infection.

For example, itching or pruritus can exist in HPV but can also be a symptom of bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections.

In the anus, hemorrhoids can cause itching and swellings that are not related to HPV or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Genital herpes is another disease that is often confused with HPV since both are transmitted through sexual contact and cause lesions in the genital area.

However, herpes usually causes more symptoms than HPV, leading to painful, blister-like, or vesicular lesions in the genital area that later turn into scabs.

Unlike HPV, herpes is accompanied by more general symptoms such as headache and general malaise.

What if my partner has genital warts and I don’t?

Couple smiling

Ideally, you should avoid having sex until the warts have disappeared or until your body has managed to eliminate HPV, as the presence of these warts increases the risk of transmitting the virus.

Using a condom only protects the penis, but exposed skin can still transmit HPV.

You can have HPV for years before it manifests. Therefore, if you or your partner have been diagnosed with HPV, there is no way to know how long you have been carrying the virus or if it was you or your partner who had the first infection.

The presence of HPV does not necessarily indicate sexual activity outside of the relationship, but it is essential that there is good communication about sexual health and the risks that exist with multiple sexual partners.

How long does the human papillomavirus last in men?

HPV infections are temporary and depend on each person’s immune system.

Eradicating warts does not eliminate the virus, but it does reduce its transmissibility. There are many types of HPV, so reinfection is common.

These were some tips to help you know how to deal with HPV. However, there is much more you need to do if you really want to get rid of HPV and warts forever.

What you need to do is GET RID OF THE ROOT of the problem.

For that reason, I recommend you to look into Dr. Kirkland's story and how he was able to cure HPV and get rid of warts for good.

Click here to see what he did

I wish you great success in your recovery!


Medically reviewed by Dr. John Wellington. Dr. John Wellington is a board-certified physician specializing in urology. With over 15 years of experience, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge through a popular health blog. Dr. Wellington holds an MD from Ivy League University and is a member of prestigious medical associations.

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