Genital warts are lumps on the skin around the penis, vagina or anus (bottom) and caused by an infection called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is very common. In fact, more than 75% of people will have this type of infection at some point in their life.
What are genital warts?
Genital warts are lumps on the skin around the penis, vagina or anus (bottom) and caused by an infection called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is very common. Genital warts are usually painless and can disappear without treatment.
How do you get genital warts?
Genital warts (genital HPV) can be passed from person to person through skin to skin contact when you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has them. Genital warts usually appear from 3-12 months after getting HPV.
How do you prevent genital warts?
Get the HPV vaccine. The vaccine protects against the most common types of HPV that cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor to see if you should get the HPV vaccine.
Use condoms or dams during vaginal, oral and anal sex. Condoms will reduce the chance of genital warts from being passed on.
Make sure you change condoms between partners and when sharing sex toys.
Use dams during oral sex. Dams will limit skin to skin contact and reduce the chance of genital warts from being passed on.
Avoid shaving or waxing affected areas if you have genital warts.
Test for STIs and HIV every 3-12 months. It is important and part of a healthy confident sex life.
What are the tests for genital warts?
Genital warts aren’t part of a routine STI test. It you see any new lumps on your genitals, you can get checked for genital warts by having a doctor or nurse check the skin of the genitals. If you have genital warts, you should get tested for other STIs. STI tests are easy, confidential and nothing to be ashamed about.
You can get an STI test at your local doctor, a sexual health clinic and some university health clinics. You can call the Sexual Health Infolink on
1800 451 624 (free call) to find the closest service to you. STI tests are easy, confidential and nothing to be ashamed about.
What is the treatment for genital warts?
Genital warts can stay the same, get worse or go away without treatment. Most people want them treated. You can treat genital warts with a special paint or cream that you get from your doctor.
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work and recognise their ongoing connection to land, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Thank you to all the international students who participated in the hub development and design.>
Grant Partners NSW STI Programs Unit, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (LHD), South Eastern Sydney LHD, Southern and Murrumbidgee LHD, Sydney LHD, Western Sydney LHD, ACON, BUPA, Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (CEH), English Australia, Family Planning NSW (FPNSW), Medibank, Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service, University of NSW (UNSW)