I have been having some irregular bleeding and itching and was recently diagnosed with genital warts. I am freaking out because I have barely had sex and the couple of times I have, they were all protected.

My questions and concerns are as follow...

1. How serious/dangerous are genital warts?
2. If my immune system fights them off, do I still need to alert my future sexual partners? Could they still be infectious if my body "fought off" the virus?
3. As a kind of follow up to #2, are they as infectious or dangerous as the warts you get in your mouth? Because aren't those viruses as well? Yet nobody seems to worry about making out with others who have had warts in their mouth in the past...

My main concern is I just recently became sexually active. But it's been awhile since I've been in any sort of serious relationship and don't plan on being in one any time soon; I don't want to freak out or scare away anyone if it's not necessary. At the same time, I have been very careful the only few times I have had intercourse and have always used protection yet still got it somehow. I am still in college but I do not want to harm others in any way!
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replied February 8th, 2013
Hi, and thanks for your query on eHealth forum!

Even if you have protected sex, HPV can transmit by skin to skin contact. Your partner may not have genital warts, yet could have been a carrier of HPV infection. Usually if genital warts do not develop, then HPV infection often goes away on its own. However, once warts develop, there is always a risk of transmitting it to others. After treatment of warts the risk lowers. You need to use condoms all the times even though they are not 100% protective (they do considerably reduce the risk). It is always advisable to cultivate long lasting sexual relationships and limiting your sex partners. Please consult a STD clinic. Hope this helps. Take care!

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