Relapses after treatment of external genital warts are more frequent in HIV-positive patients than in HIV-negative controls

Sex Transm Dis. 2002 Mar;29(3):121-5. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200203000-00001.


Background: Recurrences of cervical lesions associated with human papillomavirus are more frequent in HIV-infected (HIV+) than in HIV- women. Recurrences of external genital warts were investigated in HIV+ patients and HIV- control subjects.

Goal: To compare relapses after treatment of external genital warts between HIV+ and HIV- patients.

Study design: At the sexually transmitted disease (STD) center in Brescia, Italy, 1336 patients (241 HIV+ and 1095 HIV-) with external genital warts were examined in the decade 1990 to 1999. Various local treatments were used.

Results: Treatments generally triggered recovery from the lesions. The relapses observed up to 1 year after the response, examined by survival analysis, were significantly (P < 0.001) more frequent in the HIV+ (160 cases; 66.4%) than in the HIV- (294 cases; 26.8%) subjects. Multiple relapses observed up to 1 year after treatment occurred in 69 of 241 HIV+ patients, as compared with 14 of 1095 HIV- control subjects (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: According to the study findings, HIV infection can be considered a risk factor for the development and recurrence of external genital warts. Multiple relapses should drive patients to HIV testing.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / therapy
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Condylomata Acuminata / epidemiology*
  • Condylomata Acuminata / etiology
  • Condylomata Acuminata / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors