Anal condyloma acuminatum is a human papillomavirus (HPV) that affects the mucosa and skin of the anorectum and genitalia. Anal condyloma acuminatum is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease in the United States. To date, there are more than 100 HPV types, with HPV-6, HPV-10, and HPV-11 predominately found in the anogenital region and causing approximately 90% of genital warts. Risk factors for anal condyloma acuminatum include multiple sex partners, early coital age, anal intercourse, and immunosuppression. Transmission occurs by way of skin-to-skin contact through sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or other contact involving the genital area. The virus may remain latent for months to years until specific mechanisms cause production of viral DNA, leading to the presentation of anal condyloma acuminatum.
Patients with anal condyloma acuminatum may be asymptomatic or present with presence of painless bumps, itching, and discharge or bleeding. It is not uncommon to have involvement of more than one area, and multiple lesions may also be present and extend into the anal canal or rectum. To date, there is no serologic testing or culture to detect anal condyloma acuminatum; therefore, diagnosis is made clinically or by detection of HPV DNA. Multiple factors determine the choice of treatment, which may range from patient-applied medications to surgical intervention. Despite treatment choice, recurrence rates are high, indicating the importance of patient education on prevention of HPV infection and reinfection. Unfortunately, at this time, no cure exists for anal condyloma acuminatum; however, recently Gardasil and Cervarix (in Australia only) vaccines have become available and are showing promising results.