Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
HPV is not a single virus, but a family ofmore than100 different strains of viruses.However, mostcases of genital warts are caused by two strains of the virustype 6 and type 11.
Most cases of HPV infectiondo not have visible symptoms, so many people can be infected with HPV without realising.
It is still possible to pass on genital warts if they are not currently visible.
The most common way HPV can be passed from person to person is through skin to skin contact. This is usually sexual activity such as:
HPV is not passed on through kissing, hugging or sharing towels, clothing and everydayitems such as cutlery or a toilet seat.
Acondom can help protect against genital warts. However, as it does not cover all of the genital area, it may still be possible to pass HPV on to uncovered areas of skin.
In rare cases, a mother can pass HPV on to her newborn baby during birth.
In very rarecases, someone withHPV warts on their hands could pass on an infectionby touching somebody else's genitals.
Genital warts are small fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes that appear on or around the genital or anal area.
Genital warts usually appear within two to three months of developing an HPV infection, although incubation periods of up to a year have been reported.
Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The most common way HPV is passed from person to person is through sexual intercourse.
If you think that you may have genital warts, visit your local sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.
Treatment for genital warts depends on the type of warts you have and where they are located. You do not need treatment if there are no visible warts.
Using condoms (male or female) every time you have vaginal or anal sex is the most effective way to avoid getting genital warts, other than being celibate.