Genital warts may promote HIV sexual transmission

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

A new study has shown that genital warts may promote HIV sexual transmission and, in turn, their treatment and prevention could help decrease the spread of the disease.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common and highly infectious condition transmitted between persons during sexual skin-to-skin contact. It has more than 100 strains identified, with some "lower risk" types associated with development of genital warts. While this condition has typically been seen as more of an annoyance than a threat, there is emerging evidence that genital warts may leave affected individuals at greater risk for contracting HIV from an infected partner.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) took biopsy samples of genital warts and compared the number of "HIV-target cells" (cells that can become infected with the virus) to that found in normal tissue from the same areas of the body. In addition, genital wart samples taken from HIV-uninfected men were cultured with HIV to determine whether these lesions were at high risk for infection.

They found that, compared to normal tissue from the same patient, anogenital warts had a significantly higher density of HIV-target cells. Of the anogenital wart samples studied, approximately half had high concentrations of these cells in the outermost layer of skin (the one most likely to be contacted during sexual intercourse). In addition, of the eight samples cultured with HIV, two showed definitive signs of HIV infection, signifying that some anogenital warts may be highly susceptible to HIV infection.

Deborah Anderson, PhD, corresponding author and BUSM professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said these results are a sign that we should be more aggressive in treating genital warts. She also recognizes the potential global implications for these findings. "Large scale roll out of HPV vaccines in HIV-endemic areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa could significantly impact the HIV epidemic in those regions."



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Increased coronary vessel wall thickness linked to heart dysfunction in asymptomatic HIV patients