Not sure where to start, so here goes- I am a 40 y/o male, married for the past 16 years to a wonderful wife. Prior to marriage, I was a bit promiscuous, careful (I thought), but promiscuous nonetheless. Recently I was diagnosed with Condyloma Acuminata (HPV). What led me to the doctor on this was a growth in the tip of my penis, just inside the opening. I had a scope done on my urethra and it appears this was the only growth there. The doc removed it via a combination of cutting it out and laser.
Since being diagnosed, I've done some research on HPV and have to say that my research, combined with what the doctor told me, has left me confused, so I thought maybe asking a few questions here might help.
1. Is it possible for HPV to lay dormant for so long? Some articles I read say yes, while others are more vague about this.
2. If I've had this in my system for years, is it likely that my wife also has it? Is it possible that we've been lucky and she doesn't? She gets regular PAP smears and none have been abnormal.
3. I've had "warts" for years, on and off, on my hands. Could this be related? Also, is it possible to get the warts in or around the anus even if I've never had anal sex?
4. I also am concerned about oral HPV; around the same time I noticed the growth on my penis, I noticed odd bumps on my tongue and gums. My doc hasn't tested them, but says that bumps in the mouth come and go...
5. I've also noticed small bumps on the shaft of my penis, around the base, and on my scrotum. I've looked at pictures of genital warts online, but these look more like fordyce's spots. My confusion is that some sources say that genital warts are sometimes confused for fordyce's spots, so are they that similar?
Any answers anyone could give on this would be greatly appreciated.
1. Yes. It is absolutely possible for the virus to lay dormant within your system for so many years. HPV enters a latent state, and in some cases persists within tissues indefinitely. This is an unusual circumstance, but not unheard of.
2. Your wife has already been exposed, and likely infected. Pap smears are not a test for HPV. While they can detect abnormal cells of the cervix, they are not considered diagnostic tools to asses whether or not someone has been infected with HPV.
3. Warts of the hands do not typically transfer to the genitals, and vice versa. It's unlikely to be related. Also, you can develop anal warts without ever having any anal contact. This is because sometimes individuals can autoinoculate themselves (i.e. spread the infection to another part of their body from an existing part).
4. Oral HPV is extraordinarily rare, and extremely unlikely to produce symptoms. Likely whatever is in your mouth is a normal variation of gingival tissue, and nothing to be concerned about. Keep an eye on it, but it's unlikely to be an oral wart.
5. Fordyce spots and genital warts really do not look that much alike. Perhaps when a genital wart is just forming, it may be confused with a Fordyce spot, but I think the confusion would only manifest in an inexperienced clinician.
I am confident experienced healthcare providers can properly disagnose.