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January 22, 1988

Interferon and Genital Warts: Much Potential, Modest Progress

Author Affiliations

Harborview Medical Center Seattle

Harborview Medical Center Seattle

JAMA. 1988;259(4):570-572. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720040062030

Genital infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is an important sexually transmitted disease that is increasing in prevalence and is associated with genital neoplasia. An office

See also pp 533. based survey of consultations for genital warts in the United States documented a 580% increase between 1966 and 1983.1 Genital HPV infection is the most commonly diagnosed viral sexually transmitted disease and, with gonorrhea and chlamydial infection, one of the three most frequently diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, it is apparent that the classic exophytic genital wart, or condyloma acuminatum, is only one manifestation of genital HPV infection and that many, if not most, infections are undetectable with routine inspection. These "subclinical" infections are diagnosed using the techniques of colposcopy, cytology, histology, HPV antigen detection, and DNA hybridization, although each of these has limitations in sensitivity, specificity, or both. Molecular hybridization has shown a prevalence of genital HPV infection of