Ask the VEC: Questions and answers from

Published on in Parents PACK

Q. I have been in a monogamous relationship for more than 20 years; however, I was recently diagnosed with genital warts. My wife has never had them. How could I have gotten them?

A. Your question is a common one. Almost everyone who is sexually active will be infected with HPV at some point. For many, they may never know when or how they were infected for a few reasons. First, symptoms can appear years after the initial infection. Second, the disease can be transmitted without having intercourse. Skin-to-skin contact or oral sex can also transmit the virus. Finally, even people who do not know they are infected and those who do not have any symptoms may still transmit the virus.

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Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.