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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » HPV and oral sex

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Author Topic: HPV and oral sex
Member # 34118

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i am curious about how hpv/genital warts can be spread through oral sex...some of the information out there is confusing.

from my understanding, hpv/genital warts can be spread through exchanging bodily fluids or skin-to-skin contact with the virus. so say you perform oral sex, can you be at risk of contracting hpv/genital warts by swallowing semen? if so, does the fact that it was oral sex (not vaginal sex) lessen the risk of hpv becoming cervical cancer? also, can you develop genital warts by exchanging bodily fluids or are warts only contracted via skin-to-skin contact? for example, if you perform oral sex on someone who has a wart, would you develop warts in/around your mouth, or would they appear as genital warts just from the virus simply being in your system?

i guess i'm just a bit confused as to what the difference is, if any, between contracting hpv from vaginal sex versus oral sex and how that happens. also, if one can contract genital warts from oral sex or if the warts/sores would just appear in/around the mouth.

thanks, just trying to clarify amidst all the information out there!

Posts: 24 | From: united states | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Not all strains of HPV cause genital warts, just so you know. Many strains are without symptoms, so you may not always be able to tell if someone has HPV, unless you ask them for their test results.

HPV is not spread via bodily fluids, but via skin-to-skin contact. That means that you can greatly reduce the risk of transmission by using condoms or dental dams, but the protection is not as high as it is against STIs that are transmitted via fluids.

Why don't you take a look at these articles to see if they help you out, too:
The STI Files: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV & Herpes: Why Safer Sex Isn't Always Safe Enough

Scarleteen Volunteer

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Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 34118

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so then if you contract HPV via oral sex, does that mean you won't get genital warts (if it happens to be a type of HPV that causes genital warts)? and does this also mean that you're less likely to get cervical cancer, but more likely to get a mouth/throat cancer? or does none of this matter?
Posts: 24 | From: united states | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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Wart-producing strains of HPV can produce warts in or around any mucosa, so no, that doesn't mean warts would not necessarily happen.

Wart-producing strains of HPV are not the types associated with cervical cancer. For those which are associated with cancers, the site of the initial infection is where the concern would be. So yes, for HPV contracted orally, cancer concerns would be about the mouth and throat, not the cervix.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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