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Genital Warts

¤ Genital warts are caused by a virus similar to the virus that causes common skin warts, and affect about 500,000 Americans per year.

You can easily get genital warts through intimate skin contact (the skin of the genitals touch) and insertive and receptive oral, and vaginal sex. It is estimated that at least one fourth of the people in this country carry the virus but do not show symptoms. Dry humping and any genital-to-genital contact, even without penetration, can also transmit the virus that causes warts as can fondling, foreplay and petting. Genital warts, which can take up to a year to incubate, normally appear as small painless bumps in the vaginal area or around the anus. They are treated with a topical drug, by freezing, or if they recur, with injections of a type of interferon. If these warts go untreated at their beginning stages, they may grow and develop a fleshy cauliflower like appearance (and may have to be surgically removed). Women who have warts in their birthing canal can pass the disease on to their baby during birth. A baby who is infected with warts normally develops warts in the throat, but rarely in the genitals.
(For pictures of genital warts symptoms, see:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Genital Herpes
Genital Warts
Techniques for Prevention and Control