Warts and all

Most sexually active people are aware of the risk of STIs with unprotected sex, but there are some infections that can be transmitted despite always using condoms. Although condoms reduce the risk, viral infections such as human papillomaviruses (HPV) which cause genital warts may still be transmitted. Condoms or not, HPV exposure almost seems inevitable with up to 80% of sexually active men and women exposed to at least one HPV type in their lifetime.1

There are over 50 HPV types that infect the genital tract and these are divided broadly into two groups: high-risk HPV types (e.g. 16, 18) and low-risk types (e.g. 6, 11). HPV is highly infectious with transmission rates of over 50% following exposure.2 The quadrivalent HPV vaccine, Gardasil, offers protection for the most common high risk and low risk wart associated HPV strains (HPV 6, 11, 16, 18). Given the highest prevalence of HPV is in sexually active women 25 years and younger, this may soon result in a decrease in