Please don't pass the cauliflower: HPV
October 5, 2007 6:05 PM Subscribe
Okay, I'll just say it: I've got genital warts.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was diagnosed in July after a rather regrettable one-night stand in May. It was a mild case, looking nothing like the scary pictures I'd seen online -- the warts were smooth and flat and fairly small, and all were external. My pap (taken at the same time as diagnosis) was clean, as were my complete STD screens (including HIV).
My doctor gave me Aldara (imiquimod) cream for one month. When I went in at that point for a check-up, she said the spots that remained were more or less gone and it would be okay to stop using the cream.
In the month that followed the warts came back, at least in a couple of places. I filled my refill of Aldara and used it for a couple more weeks, but didn't have any luck. It's not any worse than it ever was, but of course now it's just making me mad. Ever since I came down with this I have felt disgusting, like I'll never be sexually appealing to anyone again.
Something that complicates matters is that I take a drug that suppresses (part of) my immune system, for a separate immune dysfunction. I imagine this is part of the reason I haven't been able to fight off the warts.
And I've tried a high-dose regimen of folic acid and one of the B vitamins that I read about online, which seemed to have no effect.
I'm going to go to a doctor in the next few days, but I'd like to hear from people who've been successfully treated -- what worked for you? Should I do cryotherapy next? How painful is it? How long did it take you to clear? How did you deal with the awful feeling that comes with being "tainted" this way? How are you now? Did anyone have success with Aldara? Any other alternative measures I can try?
(And please, spare the safe sex lectures, etc. I already know. And I'm tested regularly for everything including HIV and will continue to be.)