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Genital Warts and Child abuse

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Hi doctor, I would like to get some expert advice in the matter of genital warts, HPV and child abuse. Is there a chance that a child can get infected with HPV and have genital warts as a result of this, if he/she hasn’t had any sexual contact with an infected person? Here, we caught a man and are suspecting that he had sexual contact with the child and the child got infected with HPV and got genital warts. But after testing the man, it turned out that he has not contracted with the infection. Then how come it be possible for the child to get infection? Can the infection occur by birth and stay dormant for these long years? He was given a STD test and he doesn’t have it too. Please help me to reach a conclusion. Thank you for your time.


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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Fuller is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Fuller replied 4 Days.

I understand your concern of witnessing something which might be a child abuse. In pediatric patients also, genital warts are caused by Human Papilloma Virus, just as they are in adults. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection. But in contrary to the popular belief, it can be transmitted to other by skin contact also. This virus resides in warts on the superficial layers of cells in body and can be spread to others by contact with those warts. If there is no confirmation of sexual contact, the child might have got the virus through direct contact with skin having genital warts. It is suspected to be abuse if there is a chance for sexual contact and the child is elder than 3 years. Moreover, there are ways to get the accused man tested to find whether he is infected with HPV, other than conventional methods of HPV testing. Hope I have made things clear. Best wishes.


Dr. John Fuller
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
MD - New York Institute of Technology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship, Family Medicine - Lutheran Medical Center
Residency, Family Medicine - The Mount Sinai Hospital
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