HPV / Genital warts

Genital warts are an infection caused by the HPV virus (Human Papilloma Virus), and they sometimes cause a small skin tag or ‘wart’ to form. They can be spread during most sexual activities.

If you find a raised bump around your genitals or your anus, the good news is that they can be treated by your doctor or your local sexual health clinic. What’s more, there’s a vaccine against some of the HPV viruses, which can help prevent you getting them. Sometimes, they’ll pass on their own, although it’s always a good idea to get them checked out.

One important thing to know about HPV is that it has been associated with increased risk of cancer in some people. Particularly in cervical, anal and throat cancers, there are some signs that HPV can be a major risk for later cancer development. For this reason, the vaccine is recommended in many areas and is often provided free of charge by a public health agency. Talk to your doctor or sexual health clinic to find out more.