Name: Genital warts
Type: Sexually transmitted viral infection
Fun fact: Genital warts are the most commonly diagnosed viral STI in the UK.
Common misconceptions: You can actually still get anal warts, even if you don’t have anal sex. Although most common associated with penetrative anal sex, warts may still appear in the back passage if you haven’t been partaking in a little booty action.
How it spreads: Genital warts are caused and spread by the human papilloma virus, aka HPV. It’s usually passed on during contact of skin or bodily fluids, and doesn’t require penetration to hop across.
Symptoms: You’ll usually find painless lesions around the genitals. They may itch and bleed but shouldn’t hurt. Unfortunately they can make sex uncomfortable and, if in an awkward place, make peeing more difficult too.
Evil super power: HPV is also the most important factor responsible for cervical cancer- it’s found in 99% of cases. Cervical cancer is the fourth biggest killer of women, and the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. In the UK we have a screening programme to hep reduce cervical cancer deaths, but the best way to avoid it is to prevent infection.