Should I be worried about getting genital warts if I have flat warts caused by HPV?

HPV or the Human Papilloma Virus infection is the cause of viral warts. There are over a hundred different strains of HPV. Different strains of HPV tend to favour different sites e. g. the strains of HPV that cause genital warts are often different from the strains that cause finger warts or feet warts. So the risk of spreads from of warts from the finger to the genitals is very small. If your flat or plane warts are on the face or limbs for example, the risk of getting genital warts will be very low. Genital warts are predominantly spread by sexual contact.

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Answered By

Dr Colin Theng

Dermatologist

How can I differentiate between a yeast infection (Candida albicans) and STDs like gonorrhoea, since their symptoms are similar?

This can be best differentiated with a simple vaginal swab culture. A vaginal swab test is a test done by taking samples of secretions in the vagina with a device that looks similar to a cotton bud. With the secretions attached, the swab is then sent to a laboratory for further analysis. The majority of the infectious disease conditions can be diagnosed with a high vaginal swab, which is then sent for microbiology evaluation. STDs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia may also be diagnosed with an STD DNA PCR test, also following a vaginal swab.

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Answered By

Dr Jipson Quah

General Practitioner

How likely is it for a person to contract STDs (HIV, HPV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia etc.) as a result of unprotected sex?

The risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from unprotected sex depends on a few factors. If the sexual partner has had multiple sexual partners and or is high-risk partner eg. commercial sex worker, the risk of contracting an STI will be significantly higher. If you have multiple partners and engage in unprotected sex, the risk will be very much higher too. If you or your partner is having an active infection or having blisters, sores and ulcers at the genital area, the risk of contracting an STI is also increased.

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Answered By

Dr Colin Theng

Dermatologist

How long can STDs like gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis and HIV survive outside a human host?

In general, bacteria and viruses do not survive long outside the body (the organisms die in minutes to hours), hence they do not spread via toilet seats, swimming pools etc. However, they may be transmitted via bodily fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, especially so if there is a break in the skin or mucosal membranes. Please see a doctor if you suspect that you may have contracted an STD as thorough follow-up and investigations are required.

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Answered By

Dr Jipson Quah

General Practitioner

What are the symptoms of each stage of an HIV infection?

What is HIV? HIV is caused by an infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus attacks a type of immune cell – the CD4 lymphocyte – in the body, leading to a fall in the CD4 count, and thus a weakened immune system. According to the CDC, HIV can be divided into 3 stages. Stage 1 – Acute HIV infection This stage occurs within 2-4 weeks of acquiring the HIV infection. HIV is a viral infection and the initial symptoms appear like that of the flu. The symptoms include: fever headaches body aches skin rashes swollen lymph nodes.

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Answered By

Dr Colin Theng

Dermatologist

How long can HIV and other STD pathogens live outside the body?

HIV cannot survive for long outside the body. Environmental factors influence the survival of the virus and these include the: temperature, pH, sunlight, and humidity. The HIV virus can be detected in the environment outside of the body for several days. However, studies by the CDC [1] have shown that 90 to 99% of the HIV virus becomes non-infectious within several hours when exposed to a dry environment. Therefore, the risk of acquiring HIV through the environment is negligible and there have been no reported cases of HIV transmitted from environmental contact.

Photo of Dr Colin Theng

Answered By

Dr Colin Theng

Dermatologist

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