Genital warts are among the most common sexually transmitted infections. They are small, wart-like growths in the genital and anal area, and more rarely in the mouth. They are caused by the human papillomaviruses (HPV). There are many different strains of HPV. Some cause genital warts; others are significant for the development of cervical and anal cancers.
HPV infections and genital warts are more common in people with HIV, and HIV-positive people are more often infected with several strains of HPV at once. The genital warts are usually more tenacious and also occur more commonly in the mouth. With an advanced HIV infection, the treatment of genital warts may also be less effective. The risk of anal and cervical cancers is also increased.
People with HIV should therefore be checked for anal cancer once a year, and/or take advantage of early detection cervical screening programs once a year.