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Gynecology

HPV

04/14/2008

Question:

Hi,

Can a woman contract HPV by having oral sex with a man? How big are the chances?

If yes, can this woman transfer HPV to another man by kissing? How big are the chances?

If yes, can this man transfer HPV to ANOTHER woman by kissing?

These types of HPV that can be transfered this way (if so), what can they cause - oral cancer or other problems as well?

If this is all a plausible scenario of transfering HPV, it would seem that kissing ANOBODY new could be a dangerous activity?! How much does one need to worry now?

Other related questions:

What about a woman who contracted HPV through vaginal sex, not oral - can she transfer it to another man by kissing?

Can a person contract HPV (and tranfer it to other people) by touching (with a hand) the vagina of a woman who has HPV (especially if if she is aroused and therefore wet)?

I am aware that HPV can be transfered by genital contact even if a condom is worn - by skin-to-skin contact. Does this apply only to the cases when the skin of an HPV-infected person has warts, or even if that person has clear skin? Are these warts obvious?

And finally, should one apply all these concerns/questions to other types of STDs, especially HIV?

Thanks very much for clarifying all these concerns!

Answer:

HPV found on the penis or in the vagina/rectum has an affinity for those surfaces, therefore it doesn't infect the mouth or fingers. It would be very unlikely to transfer the virus with kissing, but oral sex could transfer the virus. The only non-genital problems that have been noted are warts (papillomas) of the larynx.

The same questions should be considered for other STIs like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

For more information:

Go to the Gynecology health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Thomas  A deHoop, MD Thomas A deHoop, MD
Formerly Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Medical Student Education
No longer associated