Can Anogenital Warts Be Prevented?

Anogenital warts is spread via sexual contact and the infection resides on the skin. It is a highly contagious infection and therefore when coupled with unprotected sex, it is the second most common sexually transmitted infection. But you can try and prevent the spread of anogenital warts. Contraception is essential and recently, vaccinations have been developed to protect against the HPV strains.


Anogenital warts reside on the surface of the skin and therefore any contact with the infected skin can mean the virus is transmitted from person to person. Wearing a condom can greatly reduce this transmission because it covers a large proportion of the genital area so there is less skin exposed to the other person. However, a condom cannot fully protect you because the virus can be found on the areas surrounding the genitals so do not have any type of sexual contact if you have an outbreak of anogenital warts.

You should also wear a condom or a dental dam during oral sex to ensure that you do not pass the infection on. The infection can also be sometimes spread by sex toys so do not share any sex toys and make sure that you regularly clean them so that they are hygienic. You can also cover your sex toys with a condom for extra protection.

Vaccinating against HPV

There are two different types of HPV vaccination: Cervarix and Gardasil. Both will protect you from the two HPV strains that cause an increase in the risk of cervical cancer but only Gardasil will protect you against anogenital warts. The two strains HPV6 and HPV11 are the most common cause of anogenital warts and safe versions of these two strains are injected into your body so that your body can build up immunity to them. Therefore, if you do come across these two strains again, your body will be faster at fighting the infection, as it already knows how to do so. This gives you a protection rate of 99%.

From September 2012, Gardasil is the primary vaccination used in the UK and it is given to girls over the age of 12. It is covered by the NHS in this case but if you do not fall into the age category but would like to have the vaccination, you will have to pay for it. The price range is about £140 for each injection and there are three injections to pay for. You should get in touch with your doctor for more information.

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