Anogenital Warts and HIV Infection

If you have a sexually transmitted infection, it is always best to get tested for any other sexually transmitted infection you may have picked up because you can have more than one STI at any time. It has been found that if you have HIV, you have a higher incidence of contracting anogenital warts for a number of reasons.

The first reason is that HIV is a virus that causes the immune disorder AIDS and it attacks your immune cells. Therefore, your body is not strong enough to fight off infections because its immune system becomes compromised. Therefore, there is a higher likelihood of you contracting HPV and therefore getting anogenital warts if you have unprotected sex. You usually will experience more outbreaks and longer outbreaks than the average individual because your immune system can’t fight the infection sufficiently and subsequently the virus lasts longer. Your body might also respond slower to treatment and you are more likely to get a recurring outbreak after you have finished your treatment.

The second reason is that the HIV virus can sometimes interact with the HPV virus. It can cause a mutation in the DNA of the HPV virus, which increases its transmission incidence and makes you more contagious. It is a lot harder for your body to get rid of the infection and so you may have a number of anogenital wart outbreaks.

The contraction of anogenital warts whilst you have HIV can be dangerous because the HPV virus is responsible for increasing the risk of cancers, especially cervical cancer. Because your immune system is weakened, the virus can reside for longer in your body so there is a greater risk of these cancers.

It is important to remember that the virus that causes anogenital warts and the virus that causes HIV are too different viruses so you won’t get both infections from one virus. It just so happens that HIV makes your body more susceptible to the HPV virus so it’s easier for the virus to cause an infection should you contract it. However, you can get both infections from unprotected sex so wear a condom to protect yourself as much as possible.

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