Most of the people infected with HPV do not show any symptoms. When symptoms are present, they are small, visible warts appearing at the tip of the penis or at the opening of vagina. In women, HPV also causes cervical lesions. Warts can occur anywhere on the shaft of penis or the scrotum in men, and anywhere around the labial area or inside the vagina in women. In women, an abnormal Pap smear may indicate cervical lesions, but a coloscopy is necessary to confirm this.
Warts are pinpoint infections, and can be treated as such. Podophyllin solution, trichlorocetic acid, and fluorouracil cream are three chemical solutions used to burn warts from the skin. Liquid nitrogen or lasers are sometimes used, as well as electrodessication. A six-month check-up is necessary to confirm that all the warts were destroyed, and even then a small percentage of people may experience a recurrence of warts within 2 years.
The virus is transmitted through sexual contact. Warts are considered very contagious even in people who show no visible symptoms.