Dealing with loneliness and the fear of rejection is what Pete, 25 years old, was going through when he experienced his first genital warts outbreak. He felt a small growth around his anus while he showered, and though it might just be the result of shaving too closely a couple days prior. It grew bigger as time passed by but still he didn’t see a doctor out of pure embarrassment.
He went to see his boyfriend and told him about it. His boyfriend took a look and saw something strange on Pete’s anus. He immediately made an excuse to leave, and spent the afternoon scouring the internet for symptoms and causes. He found something scary called a “Condyloma” that matched the symptoms he was experiencing. Pete was certain he had contracted a sexually transmitted infection called a “Papilloma” or genital wart. He couldn’t believe it because he had been having safe sex. He then went for a check up and the doctor confirmed it was indeed a genital wart, and it was treated. The doctors had it removed with a laser but months after it came back with a vengeance. Pete had surgery and it took several treatments before his STI became manageable. From this learned that there are two ways to avoid infection: abstinence or vaccine. He wants to let people know that when they find out that they have a genital wart it’s not the end of the world, but it’s important to get tested and treated early.